Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the visionaries behind Rodarte, manage to inspire us season after season. We've added cult horror films to our Netflix queue and picked up our rusty knitting needles and ballet slippers thanks to their runway (and Black Swan!) genius, so for our final City Guide installment we wanted to know where they go for their creative mojo. Maybe it's because the duo has had a built-in buddy system since birth, but they're not afraid to explore the nooks and crannies of Los Angeles County and their guide has some real hidden treasures [Editor's Note: I'm an L.A. native and I feel like I've got a whole new city to explore!]. So if you want to know the best places to avoid bumping into a reality TV film crew, let Rodarte be your guide. Though we may just petition for an episode of Keeping Up With The Mulleavys at a marionette puppet show. Bonus Pick: No matter where you are on the map, pop into your local Starbucks. Kate and Laura teamed up with the java giant for a holiday collab of coffee mugs and more. We picked up their deconstructed Starbucks logo tumbler for a few of the caffeine addicts on our list. Ok, and we're keeping one for ourselves, too.
Best Place For High Tea: Rose Tree Cottage (801 South Pasadena Ave., Pasadena) "This is the only place in L.A. to have tea. You've got to drive out to Pasadena to try it and while you're there, order Edmund and Mary's famous scones and sticky toffee pudding."
Best Place To Stop And Smell The Roses: The Huntington Library and Gardens (1151 Oxford Road, San Marino) "We have always visited the Huntington; our grandmother was a docent when we were younger. It has our favorite gift shop in L.A. and it's home to some beautiful classic artwork like "The Blue Boy" and "Pinkie" as well as a collection of incredible Gainsboroughs. And the gardens themselves vary from succulents to Japanese, Chinese, and Rose themes, and they expand over 207 acres!"
Best Place To Catch A Flick: Vineland Drive-In & Swap Meet (443 N. Vineland Ave.) & Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Blvd.) "Vineland is the last drive-in theater left in Los Angeles and Orange County. They play all the new releases and there is just nothing like listening to a movie through your car radio under the big L.A. sky. For the classics, we love the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. During the summer they project movies like Rosemary's Baby, Badlands, and the Bride of Frankenstein right amongst the graves of legends like Cecil B. DeMille, John Huston, Rudolf Valentino, and Johnny Ramone."
Best Place to Try and Sneak Into: The Magic Castle (7001 Franklin Ave., Hollywood) "This has got to be one of the absolute coolest places in LA It is an exclusive historic magician's club. You have to be a member or the guest of one to get in and they have a "no casual attire allowed" dress code. When we're so lucky to be invited, we love to go see their sleight of hand experts and listen to castle's resident ghost, Irma, play the piano. She's invisible, but she takes requests!"
Best Place To Get Lost In A Book: Caravan Books (550 South Grand Ave., Downtown L.A.) "Our favorite bookstore in downtown L.A. It is filled with antique ships and red velvet ribbons. It reminds us of a library in a 1950s Disney film."
Best place to see the Nut Cracker: Bob Baker Marionette Theater (1345 W. 1st St., Westlake) "Bob handmakes marionettes and his performances are brilliant. He is an incredible artist and his Nutcracker Suite is mesmerizingly beautiful! Make sure to look at the back walls, which are covered in his sketches."
Best Place To Find Stuff No One Else Has: Ooga Booga (943 North Broadway, Downtown L.A.) "Our friend Wendy Yao's amazing store is somewhere near Annie Pott's record shop in Pretty in Pink--or at least that's the way it feels! She is an incredible curator of art, fashion, literature, music, and zines."
Best Place To See The Stars: Mount Wilson Observatory (Mount Wilson Road, San Gabriel Mountains) "The drive through the San Gabriel Mountains is beautiful. Mount Wilson is home to the observatory where Hubble discovered that the universe is infinite. Hubble's chair is still stored along side his telescope!"
Best Van Gogh: The Norton Simon Museum (411 West Colorado Blvd., Pasadena) "The Norton Simon is the perfect place to relax on a Sunday. You can sit in their sculpture garden and watch dragonflies pass by or walk through their collection of Degas and Van Goghs. Our all time favorite, Van Gogh's Portrait of the "Artist Mother" is there." Follow Rodarte on twitter, facebook + instagram @officialrodarte and see more of their inspiration on the Rodarte tumblr!