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New book highlights Wes Anderson-inspired destinations around world

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  • The founder of the popular Instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson is releasing his first-ever book highlighting 200 of the “most idiosyncratic and interesting locations on Earth.”
  • Images in the book span every continent including Antarctica and echo filmmaker Wes Anderson’s distinctive and whimsical visual style.
  • Titled “Accidentally Wes Anderson,” the book is available now for preorder and will be released on October 20.
  • Founder Wally Koval and his wife, Amanda, also plan to launch a searchable database of Wes Anderson-inspired images close to the book’s release date.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The places in Wes Anderson films are the stuff of travelers’ dreams.

Take The Grand Budapest Hotel, a perfectly symmetrical, pastel pink structure perched on mountains in the Republic of Zubrowka that looks like its windows are frosted in icing. It has 370 reviews and a close-to-five-star rating on TripAdvisor.

The only problem? It doesn’t actually exist. “This is a fictional place … Please do not try to book a visit here,” TripAdvisor writes at the top of The Grand Budapest Hotel’s listing.

This hasn’t deterred Brooklyn-based traveler Wally Koval from searching for Anderson-esque places anyway.

Since 2017, Koval and his wife, Amanda, have spent countless hours combing Instagram for images of real places around the world that emulate Anderson’s distinct visual style and posting them to their Instagram account “Accidentally Wes Anderson.” In each caption, they include background about where each place is and how to visit.

What started out as an account with 15 followers has transformed into a community of 1.1 million followers. Now they’re releasing their first book, “Accidentally Wes Anderson.”

Currently available for preorder and releasing October 20, the book features 200 of the “most interesting and idiosyncratic places on Earth,” whittled down from 15,000 submissions. The images, submitted by photographers hailing from over 50 countries, span every continent including Antarctica, Koval told Business Insider. They range from grand palaces to grandstands in the middle of nowhere and are accompanied by in-depth stories about how each place came to be.

More than half of the images in the book have never been featured on the Instagram feed before, and those that have date back to the account’s early years, Koval said.

While the Accidentally Wes Anderson aesthetic has certain bread-and-butter qualities — symmetry, pastel colors, and a straight-on perspective — there is a certain je ne sais quois that Koval hasn’t quite put his finger on

Whatever that je ne sais quois is, it has the real Wes Anderson’s stamp of approval: “The photographs in this book were taken by people I have never met, of places and things I have, almost without exception, never seen — but I must say: I intend to,” the filmmaker writes in the forward

As for the 14,000-plus images that didn’t make it into the book, they won’t go unseen. Around the book’s release date, Wally and Amanda plan to launch an online database, where visitors can look up Accidentally Wes Anderson images by location, color, and photographer.

The website will cater to the evolving Accidentally Wes Anderson community. “People aren’t just exchanging information about their travels,” Koval said. “People are also utilizing what we’ve created for their design — interior design and mood boards and things — which I never expected.”

Ahead of the book’s release date and the database launch, Koval shared a selection of images and snippets of stories behind the images with Business Insider.

From a mustard yellow funicular railway car in Lisbon to bright pink cottages in California, here’s an early look at some of the destinations featured in “Accidentally Wes Anderson”:

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