Joshua Tree National Park is one of California’s most beautiful and interesting parks — spend a New Year’s Eve here and you won’t have the faintest idea that a city of almost 10 million is partying its tail off just two hours away. Plant your tent early, grill out under the moon, and, at midnight, raise a toast to all of the poor souls ringing in yet another new year in the exact same way they have every other one of their lives. (760) 367-5500, www.nps.gov/jotr
— Kevin Raub