The terrain of Idaho is extremely variable from one region to another; the state stretches across mountains, valleys, plains and plateaus. Boise, its capital, sits atop the Columbia River Plateau in the shadow of the Rockies and as a result of its elevation and location, the city has four distinct seasons, but all are relatively mild.

Though the nearby mountains may experience a heavy blanketing of snow each winter (that’s a good thing for Idaho’s thriving ski resorts at Bogus Basin and Sun Valley , among others), Boise itself usually receives little more than a light to moderate dusting, with occasional larger storms—annual snowfall is around 20 inches. So those looking to get out to the slopes can typically expect fresh powder in the mountains without being snowed in in the city itself.

Summers, meanwhile, can get quite steamy: the average highs for the mid-summer months are up over 90 degrees. Although it is typically a dry heat, the prime times for visiting the area are the late spring into June and early fall. Not only do you catch long warm days and seasonable nights, you also arrive just in time for many of the city’s most popular outdoor events— Jazz on the Grove is in September and Alive After Five runs every week June through September.