I grew up in Palm Springs, and there was not a whole lot there 15 years ago. And I was an on again off again vegetarian back them too.
Since I go back occasionally, and love Joshua tree, I would love to hear any reccomendations people have, as far as places to eat go
I did go ahead and do a yelp search under 'vegan' and 'palm springs' and 'joshua tree' and got some results. Man, a lot more options than when I used to live there! I am happily surprised to see veggie places in Joshua Tree. I want to go back up there when the weather cools down a bit. I LOVE that place. So beautiful.
Palm Springs:http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=ve ... 6ff6a85f41
Joshua Treehttp://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=&f ... _filters=1
I would head up to Joshua tree and check out one of the vegan cafes they have up there. Looks like they have a couple now! And definitly hit up Joshua Tree National Monument. Even if you have small children, check out Jumbo Rocks. Its an easy drive inside the monument, and has some really easy short hikes. Then drive out to Key's View, which overlooks the entire Coachella Valley. It is so amazing.
If you stay in Palm Springs, then make sure you go to the Palm Canyons, which are right up against the mountain. Very very beautiful oasis there. Nice, easy hikes, you could take the kids for sure. If you have time/money you could go up the tram to the top of the mountian, but if I were you, I would enjoy the desert! The indian canyons are so cool. If you stay in the Valley (not up to Joshua Tree, its a couple hours drive) I would eat at Native Foods in Palm Desert. It is like a 20 minute drive from the indian canyons, but worth it. That place rocks! and that was the first location, years ago.
Have fun! I am getting the urge to go back now...it happens every once in a while haha