With July just around the corner, our thinking turns to old-fashioned, Wild West fun. We found just that kind of fun blended with the rugged Canadian Rockies and cosmopolitan culture in Calgary, Alberta.

In just a week or so, one of Calgary's most famous events, the Calgary Stampede rodeo will take center stage in this former pioneer outpost. But before that even gets started, you can get a taste of local flavor with a visit to Ft. Calgary to celebrate Canada Day on July 1. During your visit, be sure to walk along the Bow River and explore buildings that replicate life in the late 1800s when the fort was home to the region's Mounted Police.

You can also stretch your legs on the Bow River Pathway, which leads to Isaac Kendall Kerr Plaza on the river's south side. The plaza, named for a pioneer businessman, is across from the lush, green landscape of Prince's Island Park where locals and visitors alike enjoy picnicking, jogging and watching for wildlife in the island's wetland area.
 
From there, take a quick jaunt to nearby Eau Claire Market and search its many stores for the perfect memento of your time in Calgary. This is also a great spot for gourmet dining or munching popcorn while watching a movie at the six-screen theater.

For more shopping and dining, head to Stephen Avenue Walk, one of two downtown pedestrian malls where you'll find department stores, boutiques, galleries, fine restaurants and plenty of live entertainment.

When you're ready to rise far above the clamor of downtown, take a high-speed elevator to the observation deck of Calgary Tower for a spectactular, 360° view stretching from the downtown core all the way to the Rocky Mountains.

Even if you're not quite ready to call in sick and head north this week, you can still enjoy a taste of the West with this desktop getaway.