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 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) 
Bill Boyd, Boyd Gaming Group
Boyd Gaming Group

Audio Pending...

Bill Boyd, chairman of Boyd Gaming Group in Las Vegas, shares his family’s intimate involvement in the gaming industry Bill Boyd's father, Sam Boyd (born in 1910), moved the family to Oahu when Bill was in first and second grade.

Honolulu is where Sam Boyd became intimately involved in the local, under-the-radar Hawaiian gambling scene—and this relationship would play a critical role in Boyd Gaming Group’s success decades later.

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.

Teresa Stephens at Cast Iron Grill
Thomas Wilmer

Teresa Stephens, owner of the Lubbock, Texas Cast Iron Grill recounts her fear of the homeless. She confronted her phobia and wound up embracing the homeless and made major sacrifices to feed those in need. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at the Cast Iron Grill in downtown Lubbock as Teresa shares her poignant tale of personal sacrifice that ultimately enriched and transformed her life through serving the homeless.  

tractor on display at Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Thomas Wilmer

The Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas is the Smithsonian of all things Ag from primitive McCormick Reapers to state of the art computer assisted John Deere Cotton Strippers.

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. 

Dinosaurs at Texas Tech university
Thomas Wilmer

    

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Come along and join Dr. Gary Morgan CEO where he shares his passion for the multidisciplinary showcase of everything from giant dinosaurs to a premier collection of Southwest and Native American Art. 

Quynh and David Rathkamp
Thomas Wilmer

Quynh and David Rathkamp made a dramatic transition in their lives. They both gave up successful medical practices to save the world one beer at a time. 

They started the Save the World Brewing Company in Marble Falls, Texas and their business became the first 100 percent philanthropic production brewery in America with all net profits earmarked for worthy causes such as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels. 

Arroyo Grande, California historian, Jim Gregory spent years researching the lives of 52 Civil War veterans who settled in Arroyo Grande in the years following the war. The culmination of Gregory’s exhaustive research is his just released book, Patriot Graves—Discovering a California Town’s Civil War Heritage.

John Osborne Lubbock Texas
Thomas Wilmer

Lubbock, dubbed the Hub of West Texas is a thriving community of 250,000 where arts, culture, and live music are intrinsic to this college town that was and remains rooted in agriculture.

Join John Osborne, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance for an insiders look at the town’s diversity of attractions for locals and visitors alike.  

Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas
Thomas Wilmer

 80 percent of Texas grapes are grown here. Twenty five percent of the country’s cotton, and yes, beef is big here too.

And this is why Lubbock is the home of the National Ranching Heritage Center, but Lubbock is much more than Ag.

Texas Tech State University’s 40,000 undergrads add a vibrancy to downtown nightlife. 

Wesley Keegan Tailgate Beer
Tailgate Beer

Wesley Keegan distributes a wide array of craft beers around the state of Tennessee, while the overseas market is clamoring for his brews to the point that they are rationed and sold only by the single can in England.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a visit at Tailgate Brewery in Nashville with owner Wesley Keegan. Tailgate averages 30 beers on tap, and rolls out at least two new beers every week.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer in Nashville, Tennessee at the Black Abbey Brewing Company for a visit with founder, Carl Meier as he share’s the brewery’s signature beers, and connection with 16th Century Martin Luther, his wife Catherine, and modern day Frothy Monkey coffee.

Austin Smith & Tom Wilmer talk hot chicken
Joe McGhee

It’s hot chicken, big brews, and frozen craft-cocktails at Party Fowl in Nashville, Tennessee

At Party Fowl restaurant in Nashville Tennessee, hot is an understatement, as they have refined the art of serving “Nashville Hot” southern fried chicken to a fine art. 

U.S. Navy submarine rescue vessel at Morro Bay
Thomas Wilmer

Larry Newland, Executive Director of the Morro Bay Maritime Museum Association talks about the new museum facility on the Embarcadero, scheduled to open in 2017. He also talks about the historic vessels on display. 

Thomas Wilmer

Skateboarding has a long and complex history.

It has evolved from a little known hobby, practiced by California teenagers in the 1970s, to a popular international sport. 

James Hudec and John Russ
Melissa Corbin

Eat.Drink.Give. That's the mission of Culinaria San Antonio where Associate Producer, Melissa Corbin of Corbin In The Dell, meets some of the finest San Antonio folks who make the city a premier culinary destination in this episode of Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer.     

Perla Batalla performing live in Ojai CA
Claud Mann

NPR podcast host, Tom Wilmer met up with Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Perla Batalla in Ojai, California. Come along and join Perla as she shares her musical journey through life. 

Whiskey pot still at Corsair Distillery
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Darek Bell, owner and visionary at Corsair Distillery.

Corsair is the second oldest craft distillery in Tennessee, and was the very first to set up shop in Nashville.  

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

Fat Bottom Brewing warehouse
Thomas Wilmer

Ben Bredesen, owner and founder of Fat Bottom Brewing in East Nashville Tennessee, turned in his high-tech employment badge and decided to follow his passion for crafting beer, and he’s never looked back.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Ben Bredesen at his brewery where he talks passionately about Fat Bottom’s litany of beers. 

owners Andy and Charlie at Green Brier Distillery
Green Brier Distillery

 Charlie and Andy Nelson could easily serve as poster-children of the new generation of young Tennessee entrepreneurs who have a vision and act on it, in spite of obstacles and naysayers.

By pure happenstance the Nelson brothers stumbled upon a historical marker in the rural Tennessee village of Green Brier that transformed their lives.

Gabe Dixon at Bluebird Cafe
Thomas Wilmer

 Join NPR podcast host Tom Wilmer at the legendary Bluebird Cafe for a conversation with Nashville based musician, Gabe Dixon.

Just mention the name Bluebird Café to anyone in the world familiar with the Nashville Music Scene and you are bound to receive a fond smile of reverence in response. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Kim Schneider

When the phrase “wilderness area” is mentioned, you probably don’t picture sharing that spot with, say, 1.7 million people. 

They weren’t all there at once, of course, but that’s how many people last year dropped by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Front facade Ryman Auditorium
Thomas Wilmer

Join Lisaann Dupont, PR and Digital Media Manager at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Revered as the “Mother Church” of country music, the Ryman has been an anchor of the Nashville music scene for more than a century.

The Grand Ole Opry moved in to the Ryman in 1943 where it broadcast shows weekly across the airwaves every Saturday on WSM 650 AM radio.

Country Music Hall of Fame entry
Thomas Wilmer

The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee is the Mother Ship where the entire history of country music, from the 1800s to present, is showcased and revered in the 360,000 square-foot, multi-story facility.

Nashville is so much more than just the epicenter of the Country Music scene. The town, passionately dubbed Music City, is a Mecca of sorts for every musical idiom imaginable. It’s an extremely hip and happening destination where more than 700 people arrive every week to take up residence in Music City. And there's also a fascinating historical architectural underpinning that gives the town a certain elegance.

Kodak Corporation

  Host of the NPR Podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer met up with Georgia Durante, at of all places, a summer camp for kids run by St. Vincent de Paul in the hills above Santa Barbara, California where she talks about her best selling book, The Company She Keeps chronicling her amazing life journey. 

Georgia Durante grew up in Rochester, New York, and her modeling career commenced when she was just 13 years old.

View from Painted Sky Inn
Beverly Langford / Back Yard Photos

Burnet County’s Highlands Lakes Region is less than an hour’s drive from the urban buzz of Austin, Texas but it’s a world apart.

Hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and camping are popular pastimes in Burnet County.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at the newly renovated Painted Sky Inn, situated on the shores of Lake Buchanan, for a visit with innkeeper Denise Lewis and her friend Craig Harris.     

slaughtered elephant
Thomas Wilmer

  Recalling the tragedy of Cecil the Lion’s death stirred me to post on my NPR Podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, the radio broadcast interview with two Big Game photographic safari guides in Botswana.

Join trackers, Dave Luck and Map Ives in Botswana’s Okavango Delta as they talk about the evolution of Big Game Safaris from hunting to capturing photographic images as the best hope for the future of Africa’s big game.  

Tim Chapman covers Muriel Boatlift
Battle Vaughn / Miami Herald

A conversation with award-winning Miami Photographer Tim Chapman (retired 2012), recorded in the jungles of Costa Rica back in 1993.

In celebration of 26 years reporting around the world for NPR affiliate KCBX in California and the NPR podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, we are featuring an ongoing “Best of" series from the tape archives.

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