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) 
The Hilton Hotel Union Square San Francisco's Cityscape bar on the 46th floor offers panoramic vistas of the City
Thomas Wilmer

  Hilton Hotel San Francisco Union Square promotes their surgical location in the heart of the City, the 46th-floor sky high Cityscape bar, and extensive meeting facilities--but the Hilton’s longtime engagement with community non-profit organizations most often goes on unnoticed. 

Panoramic San Francisco vistas from the Parc 55 Hotel in Union Square
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Frank Manchen, Area Director of Sales & Marketing for the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and the neighboring Parc 55 Hotel about Hilton’s value-added California Road Trip summer packages up and down the California Coast from San Diego to San Francisco.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via: 

Quaint sidestreets in downtown Lake Geneva harken to simpler time in America
Thomas Wilmer

Join the conversation with correspondent Tom Wilmer and Ed Svitak, President of Visit Lake Geneva in the heart of Wisconsin. 

Belinda Jones and Bodie her companion road tripping along the West Coast
Courtesy Belinda Jones

 

Belinda Jones, best selling British author visits with Tom Wilmer in Morro Bay where she talks about her new book Bodie On The Road--Travels with a Rescue Pup in Dogged Pursuit of Happiness.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin a year-round playground and vacation destination
Thomas Wilmer

Kathleen Seeberg, Executive Director of Walworth County Visitors Bureau shares insights about the four seasons attractions of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Karin Kei Nagano (left) and her father Kent Nagano
Thomas Wilmer

A conversation with Grammy Award-winning conductor, Kent Nagano and his daughter Karin Kei Nagano. Nagano grew up in Morro Bay, California and graduated from U.C. Berkeley. 

Spring tulips in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join Stephanie Klett, Cabinet Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and correspondent Tom Wilmer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as they share their passion for the state’s welcoming people and distinctive travel destinations.

Tom Londsway co-owner Stone Arch Brew House, Appleton, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer and Mary Rhode, Marketing & Communications Manager at Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau as they visit Wisconsin’s oldest brewpub Stone Arch Brewpub and Angels Forever—Windows of Light on College Avenue.

LA County's WaterBus in Marina del Rey
Hornblower Cruises

LA County’s WaterBus is and ideal way to experience Marina del Rey harbor—the second largest man-  made yacht harbor in the world. 

Terry Lensmire, Master Cheese Maker at Simon's Specialty Cheese in Little Chute, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer iPhone6

A conversation with Wisconsin Master Cheese Maker Terry Lensmire at Simon's Specialty Cheese in Little Chute, Wisconsin, in the heart of the Fox Cities region.

The B-17 at the bottom of this photo, on a mission to Anzio, Italy, was piloted by Harold Schuchardt of Los Osos when it was shot down over Hungary. Schuchardt was captured and served out his war as a POW. Courtesy the American Air Museum
Courtesy the American Air Museum in Britain, Imperial War Museums

  

Historian Jim Gregory shares insights about his new book Central Coast Aviators in WW II. Gregory shares the stories of local men and women who served as pilots and crew during WW II. Stories include how Cal Poly State University was transformed into a Naval aviation pre-flight training center and Santa Maria’s Hancock Field trained thousands of pilots and crew.

Appleton, Wisconsin Mayor Timothy Hanna
Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a walkabout in Appleton, Wisconsin with the Mayor, Timothy Hanna celebrating his 22nd year in office. Discover why the Fox Cities region has evolved to become a magnet for millennials who find the thriving arts, culture, music, and theater scene alluring draws. 

Landing craft coming ashore on the Morro Bay sandspit during WWII training
U.S. Army Signal Corps

Within moments of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, life in America instantly transformed for the duration of the war. Edith Ross and Art Criddle share their recollections as children during the war years in Morro Bay

Big guns aboard the USS Alabama
Thomas Wilmer

The USS Alabama (commissioned August 16, 1942) served in the North Atlantic in 1943 and subsequently the South Pacific. With a crew of 2,500 the USS Alabama led the American Fleet in to Tokyo Bay for the formal Japanese surrender at the conclusion of WWII September 5th 1945. 

Mark Lamers at his family owned dairy in Appleton, Wisconsin--the last family owned dairy in the state
Thomas Wilmer

  Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Mark Lamers at his family owned dairy in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The Lamers family started their dairy in a basement back in 1913. 

Mary shows off a fresh batch of delectable Wilmar Chocolates in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Thomas Wilmer

Join Paul Garvey, owner of Wilmar Chocolates in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin to discover exactly why the family-owned chocolate company has maintained a fond following for more than 60 years.

Wilmar Chocolates is also a discreet example of why businesses in Appleton and around the Fox Cities region are thriving.

Paul Garvey owner of Wilmar's Chocolates in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Paul Garvey, owner of Wilmar’s Chocolates in Appleton, Wisconsin talks about the company’s passion for handcrafting chocolate bars and treats and how his creations became a hit in Russia and China, with a fond following around America. 

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on their home turf in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Thomas Wilmer

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, The Milwaukee Brewers’ Class “A” farm team has an incredibly passionate fan base. Appleton, Wisconsin and the entire Fox Cities region consider the Rattlers as “their team” but so do folk from around the state and even Michigan’s Far North Upper Peninsula. 

Shelly Nystrom (left) owner of Eco Candle Company  in Downtown Appleton Wisconsin with associate Shelby Bradshaw
Thomas Wilmer

Soy-based Man Candles are just one of the many enticing products offered at Eco Candles located in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin

A local at The Wave near Jingbian City close to the border with Inner Mongolia
Thomas Wilmer

Xi’an, in Shaanxi Province of the People’s Republic of China is the oldest of the “Four Great Ancient Capitals of China”. It’s the most populous city in Northwest China, and  claims close to 13 million souls in the greater metropolitan area. 

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer as he explores the ancient city of Xi’an and the province of Shaanxi. 

Nebraska windmill
Thomas Wilmer

The iconic windmill has been a part of western landscape since the mid 1800s.

Tanya Meadows at the American Wind and Power Center in Lubbock, Texas, and Jim Stark at the Kregel Windmill Factory Museum in Nebraska City, Nebraska share their passion for the iconic windmill that transformed the American West. 

Tyrone Taylor proudly shares the proclamation presented by the City of Los Angeles proclaiming Tyrone Taylor the Mayor of Skid Row
Thomas Wilmer

Life was chugging along just fine for Tyrone Taylor, that is until he lost his job when the steel plant closed in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania back in 1983. Drugs and alcohol sped his descent. He eventually wound up spending 20 years homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles. 

Jessica Potts, Executive Director of the Agricultural & Rural Life Museum at San Lorenzo County Park in King City, California in front of the old (circa-1903) King City train station--that was relocated to the park
Thomas Wilmer

The San Lorenzo County Park in King City, California showcases the agrarian roots of Monterey County’s Salinas Valley. 

Andy and Phyllis D'Arrigo
The D'Arrigo Foundation

Tom Wilmer reports from Salinas Valley where he visits with 90-something Andy D’Arrigo, patriarch of the family run agriculture business D’Arrigo Brothers. It was Andy who served as the model for the company brand created back in 1927 when he was two years old. Andy’s childhood face still adorns the label 80 years later. 

CLassic Moorish and Mission Revival influences abound at the classic- Julia Morgan designed Hacienda
Thomas Wilmer

William Randolph Heart’s old ranch headquarters was constructed in 1930.

Located a mere 11 miles as the crow flies from Hearst Castle. Hearst and architect Julia Morgan’s classic, Moorish/Mission Revival structure, dubbed the Hacienda or Milpitas Ranch House, was sold to the U.S. Army in 1940.

The Hacienda initially served as operations headquarters for Fort Hunter Liggett until the base facilities were constructed in the dawning days of WWII.

Buffalo River
Thomas Wilmer

The Buffalo National River, situated in Northern Arkansas is free flowing for more than 135 miles. It’s one of North America’s last remaining undammed rivers.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer on the banks of the Buffalo River for a conversation with National Park Ranger, Joyce Umbach, and Ben Milburn the owner and operator of Buffalo River Outfitters.

Oklahoma City Bombing April 19th 1995
NBC

A visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum--Executive Director Kari Watkins talks about the deadliest attack in America until 9-11. 

Ford Research lab
Thomas Wilmer

Your new Ford might just come equipped with repurposed U.S. currency, flax, wheat, agave fibers, and a litany of organic auto parts. 

U.S.S. Potomac at Port of Oakland
Thomas Wilmer

The USS Potomac served as the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Floating White House” from 1936 until his death in 1945. How the USS Potomac came to reside in Oakland, California is a fascinating journey.

Following a ten year stint as a Coast Guard patrol boat, the Potomac saw duty as a Caribbean ferry, Elvis Presley private yacht, and a stint as a drug smuggler that ultimately led to its sinking while tied up on Treasure Island.

www.museocr.org

Gloria Calderón is the Director of the Museo de los Niños in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Gloria as she talks about the engaging hands-on children’s museum, her passion for the country, and the work-in-progress to create an adjunct museum showcasing the former prison’s story.

The Children’s Museum opened in 1994 in a long abandoned former prison with an evil history rivaling the world’s worst hell-holes of incarceration.

Pages