Tom Wilmer

Host of Journeys of Discovery

Host of the Lowell Thomas Award-winning NPR digital media travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, Wilmer has also produced the on-air travel show for KCBX since 1989, and served as digital-media travel host for KRML in Carmel, Calif.

The Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer podcast is also featured on the NPR ONE mobile app, iTunes, Stitcher.com, player.fm (UK) a selected "Best Travel Roundup Podcast" and more than 20 other podcast channels around the world. Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer travel show covers a wide array of subjects including agriculture, culture, arts, science, history and cuisine.

In addition to winning the 2017, 2016, 2015 & 2013 Lowell Thomas Award--Best Radio Travel Show, Wilmer is the recipient of more than a dozen prestigious industry awards for radio and video, and the prestigious Tourism Australia/QANTAS "Henry Lawson Travel Writing Award" for the best North American feature about Australia as a travel destination.

Wilmer was Travel Editor for Central Coast Magazine in California from its inception through 2008, and Travel Editor at Las Vegas Magazine (1998 - 2003), he has also been a frequent contributor to numerous upscale lifestyle magazines including Tahoe Quarterly, and Arizona Foothills, and former Home Section columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and locally has produced features for New Times, The Tribune and other regional publications.

Author of three books: Romancing the Coast, California Coast Getaways, and Wine Seekers Guide to Livermore Valley. Wilmer has also produced numerous lifestyle magazine features and more than 1,500 newspaper travel feature stories. His Knight Ridder Syndicate travel features have appeared in more than 40 North American newspapers, including the Toronto Star.

His on-location shows have ranged from the Arctic to African safaris, in the wheelhouse of the Rainbow Warrior II, flying in WWII bombers, navigating a micro light above Victoria Falls, sailing around Grenada, hiking through the wilds of Malaysian jungles and exploring remote atolls and isles throughout the South Pacific. His feature, recorded live at Harland & Wolfe Shipyards in Belfast Northern Ireland, celebrating the centenary of the launch of the Titanic was the recipient of a Best Travel award from Outdoor Writers Association of California.

Recent video/audio Awards:

  • First Place Award for Best Short Video- Pinnacles National Park 2015.
  • Wilmer and his video partner, Simo Nylander produced a video for National Park Service's Alcatraz Cruises 2015
  • In-depth video audio series for the Morro Bay National Marine Estuary Winner of 2015 "Best Outdoor Video"
  • Award from Outdoor Writers Association of California, along with "Best Short Video" award for Morro Bay Estuary Water Quality feature
  • Amgen California bike race commercial 2016
  • First Place "Best Outdoor Radio Feature" Saving Cecil's recorded live on location in Botswana
  • Second Place "Best Outdoor Radio Series" for Audubon Rowe Sandhill Cranes, First Federally Funded Wild Mustang Refuge, Heartland Shooting Range Grand Island, Nebraska. Awarded by Outdoor Writers Association of California

Professional Membership:

  • National Press Club, Washington D.C. (www.press.org)
  • Vice President (SF) Bay Area Travel Writers (www.batw.org)
  • Board of Directors Outdoor Writers Association of California (www.owac.org) 
Sgt. Lena Wakayama

In our final installment about life on base at U.S. Army Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County, correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with troops assigned to full-time duty at the fort.

Thomas Wilmer

The tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are in port in Morro Bay, California until December 18. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer aboard the Lady Washington for a visit with Captain D.B. Smith, 3rd Mate Eric Dowell, and David Livingstone, chief mate aboard the Hawaiian Chieftain. 

Fort Hunter Liggett

Federal firefighters based at Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County are trained to respond to a wide array of emergencies, including range, forest and structure fires, medical emergencies, aircraft incidents and mutual aid response to the surrounding region in Lockwood Valley. Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with firefighters Greg Fryer and Jason Hall.

Two Fish Gallery

For many artists, finding a way to earn a living is a proverbial struggle. Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with two artists who specialize in expressing their creativity with clay, and both have found divergent ways to make a viable living.

Fall Creek Vineyards

Sergio Cuadra spent 20 years honing the art and craft of winemaking in Chili before mastering hot-climate grape growing at Fall Creek Vineyards in the heart of the Highland Lakes region of Texas. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a chat with Cuadra.

Courtesy of John Arthur Martinez

Texas-based country and western musician John Arthur Martinez has written more than 700 songs, and produced 13 albums including his latest, "San Antonio Woman." One of Martinez’s songs went cosmic—accompanying the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Beverly Langford

The Highland Lakes region of the Texas Hill Country is less than an hour from Austin, but it’s a world apart.

Library of Congress archives

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Brian Neumann, Ph.D., a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair in Washington D.C. Newmann talks about General Hunter Liggett, who was second-in-command of the Army’s World War 1 American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Liggett was a visionary tactician who transformed field tactics that remain employed today.   

Wendell Brock

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from Lodi, California, where he visits with two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Bradley Ogden. 

Cynthia McIntyre, Fort Hunter Liggett

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Monterey County's Fort Hunter Liggett, where he visits with Augusta Vargas, wife of Sergeant Garcia. Vargas talks about the rewarding aspects of life as an Army spouse and raising a family on a remote base.  

Aalim Dance Academy

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Oklahoma City-based belly dance instructor Heide Brandes who shares insights about the cultural nuances of the ancient art form. Wilmer also talks with swing dance instructor Marcus Coker based in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

PBS affiliate WCTE

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Becky Magura, CEO of PBS affiliate WCTE in the Appalachian town of Cookeville in central Tennessee.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer  as he reports from Pall Mall, Tennessee. There he visits with World War I U.S. Army hero Sergeant Alvin York’s daughter, 85 year-old Betsy Ross York-Lowery, and great-granddaughter, Deborah York, at the family’s farmhouse. A pacifist, York reluctantly went to war and wound up one of America’s most highly decorated heroes.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer discovers why USA Today and the Wine Enthusiast both ranked Lodi, California as a world-class wine destination where food, kayaking, and biking are equal allures.

CNN.com

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County, where he visits with Deputy Commander Lt. Colonel Jason McKenzie.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Lodi wine pioneers, Heather Pyle-Lucas and David Lucas, at their historic ZinStar Vineyards. The Lucas’ have been crafting award-winning Zinfandel since 1978, when their winery was one of three in the entire Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA). Today there are 86 wineries in the region that’s been dubbed the Zinfandel Capital of the World.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, exploring the Road America racetrack and the lakefront Victorian Village Resort, dating from the 1880s.

Visit Kingsport Tennessee

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Jamie Cyphers, the great-great-granddaughter of Kingsport, Tennessee moonshiner Charles “Old Man" Bishop, who reportedly first concocted Long Island Iced Tea back in the 1920s.

Wilmer also stops in for a visit with two Kingsport professional bartenders, Shane Winegar and Randy Ashens, who challenged New York mix-masters to a competition to determine which region makes the best Long Island Iced Tea, irrespective of origin.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer continues his reporting from Bristol, Tennessee. He visits with Tim Nichols, whose family has been making Appalachian moonshine for more than six generations. At Bristol Motor Speedway, General Manager Jerry Caldwell tells the story of how the competitive spirit of bootlegger delivery drivers eventually led to the creation of NASCAR in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1948.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from eastern Tennessee, where he explores Roan Mountain and Rocky Fork State Parks. He then visits with innkeepers at the state’s oldest inn in historic Jonesborough, and discovers how community engagement drives business at Jiggy Rays Pizza Parlor in the Appalachian village of Elizabethton.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from Kingsport, Tennessee—in the shadows of the Great Smokey Mountains—for an exploration of the town’s vibrant economy and fascinating educational opportunities for the upcoming generation.

Back in the latter 1990s, manufacturing jobs were disappearing at a frightening rate across America’s Rust Belt. Kingsport, Tennessee was a poster child for the changes, with staggering job losses and industrial manufacturing plant-closures.

Thomas Wilmer

The United States Army’s Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County is larger than all of the other Army Reserve’s training installations combined, and the U.S. Army’s seventh largest training facility in geographic area.

Thomas Wilmer

Country music leapt from the front porches of Appalachia to the living rooms of the world back in 1927. 

The Victor Talking Machine Company’s producer Ralph Peer came to Bristol, Tennessee in the summer of 1927 to record regional Appalachian balladeers, gospel singers, blues artists—performers like Jimmy Rodgers and the Carter Family. Peer’s 1927 Bristol Sessions also introduced the royalty system to the music industry.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer traverses the Great River Road in Wisconsin—from Praire du Chien in the southwest to the hip university town of La Crosse.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a city of 68,000 that has rapidly evolved to become a trend-setting cultural attraction.

Scott Wolf

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with locals, discussing life in Wisconsin’s historic villages dotting the Great River Road, a network of state and local byways following the route of the mighty Mississippi for over 2,000 miles.

catiethering.com

There are two standard options for dogs and cats that arrive at shelters and pounds: adoption or euthanasia. Lisa LaVerdia decided to create another option that she dubbed The Third Door, providing a home for unadoptable dogs and cats.

University of Nebraska Press

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Cal Poly journalism lecturer Katya Cengel to talk about her new book, “Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back." Cengel shares the stories of four Cambodian families as they "confront criminal deportation forty years after their resettlement in the United States." 

Debi Lander

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer in China for an exploration of the northwest province of Shaanxi, and the numerous benefits of traveling to Tibet by automobile versus aircraft or train. 

Courtesy Chris Christensen

Morro Bay resident Chris Christensen will be in Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 22 to receive the Academy of Country Music Founders Award. Christensen’s mother and father started the Country Music Awards back in 1964 at the family owned Red Barrel nightclub in the Los Angeles community of Hawaiian Gardens.

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