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) 
Thomas Wilmer

 Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from St. Vincent de Paul’s summer camp, Circle V Ranch Camp located just across the road from the entry to Lake Cachuma County Park. The summer camp is dedicated to serving kids from the California Central Coast and Los Angeles.

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.

Thomas Wilmer

 Dunlap, Tennessee is just a half hour drive from Chattanooga, but it’s a world apart.

For close to a century, coal mining was the driver here in the rural community of Dunlap, Tennessee, but by the early 1990's the coal industry was history. The old coke ovens, built in 1902 remain as decaying relics of a time when more than 400 locals were employed in the mines.

Thomas Wilmer

  The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers daily excursions along an historic route that first opened to rail traffic back in 1858.

It was the railroad’s strategic importance that led to the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga that was fought here back in the fall of 1863. 

Thomas Wilmer

  The International Towing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee features famous tow trucks, including the world’s largest wrecker, a WWII tank recovery tow truck, and the world’s oldest tow truck. 

Thomas Wilmer

Christopher Young, National Park Service Resource Education Specialist at Chickamauga National Military Park at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia talks about the Civil War battle in the fall of 1863 at Chickamauga on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Thomas Wilmer

National Park Ranger Lee White specializes in the human aspects of the Civil War soldiers, what they ate, the clothes and boots they wore, the diseases that killed them by the thousands, and their emotional state of being as documented in their poignant letters home.

Ron Coley

  Ron Coley, producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary “River of Innocence” chronicling the San Marcos River in Texas has spent the past 40 years studying the legendary Aquarina Springs Lake on the outskirts of San Marcos.

KCBX

Willy Mays, Jackie Robinson, Bessie Smith—"The Empress of the Blues", Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta, Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. Emma Wheeler, and pro football player Reggie White—they all have one thing in common, and that’s their connection with the Tennessee town of Chattanooga.

Associate Producer, Elaine Masters reports from San Diego--It started when nine-year old Dan Schlossberg was watching the World Series with his dad. Hanging on every play his dad explained changed his life. 

212 Market

Sisters, Sally and Susan Moses and their mom, Maggie had a vision to open a trend-setting restaurant in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee

The family envisioned a farm-to-table model, about two-decades before the concept became a nationwide trend.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Tennessee with Cindy Dupree, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Ms. Dupree and Tom visit the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greenville, the Bristol Motor Speedway, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee. 

Thomas Wilmer

 A short drive from Chattanooga, Tennessee is the town of Cleveland. A drive down the main drag reveals a sleepy, slow-paced community with old brick buildings and enchanting homes right out of a Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra flick.

Melissa Corbin

    

  The chain of missions established along the San Antonio River form the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America, and have recently received global recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Come along and join Melissa Corbin, Associate Producer for the NPR podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer as she explore the Missions' history and how they are beginning to feed more than just the mind.

Traffic Jam and Snug

Midtown Detroit’s Traffic Jam and Snug restaurant has remained as an extremely popular dining destination and an industry trendsetter for more than 50 years. 

MotorCities.org

The MotorCities National Heritage Area is a non-profit organization dedicated to historic preservation and heritage tourism for the automotive industry in southeast Michigan. MotorCities is an affiliate of the National Park Service that safeguards and celebrates the story of how the automobile industry transformed and impacted the region, the entire country and across the globe.

Ritz Carlton

Sometimes, even though a chef has earned their place among the world's finest culinary artists, a handful remain humble, with an innocence and unflagging sense of discovery. And this is exactly the case with Michael Rotondo, Chef de Cuisine at San Francisco’s Parrallel 37, the Ritz Carlton’s award-winning restaurant.

Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer in Santa Barbara, California for a visit with film director, Max Barbakow.

Thomas Wilmer

 Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from Detroit, Michigan at Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers.

Come along and join Ron Colangelo, Vice President Communications for the Detroit Tigers in the press box where we’re reminded that baseball is probably the most social of the spectator sports, and definitely a stats driven game.  

John DeGRazio

If you’re planning a visit to Yosemite National Park, a guided hiking adventure is an excellent way to maximize your experience. YExplore Yosemite Adventures offers an array of customized backcountry explorations, from day hikes to multi-day backpack treks. Specialized hikes include wildflowers, birding, and snowshoeing.

 

  A summer of ‘69 road trip through Southern Appalachia struck a cord with musician David Holt and determined his future as a passionate advocate for traditional American folk music and the rural story telling tradition. Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer for a conversation with David Holt along with some of his music, and a sampler of his craft as a storyteller. 

Thomas Wilmer

Penguins have resided at the Detroit Zoo since the late 1960s but in the spring of 2016 they were ushered in to a new cutting-edge, 33,000 square-foot facility that is ranked as one of the world’s foremost Penguin habitats.

Melissa Corbin

The chain of missions established along the San Antonio River in the form the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America, and have recently gained global recognition as they received UNESCO World Heritage status.

  Camille Cusumano loved and lost. She got mad. And then she decided to dance. Listen in as the Sicilian-American travel writer and dance teacher talks with Laurie McAndish King, Associate Producer for the Lowell Thomas Award-winning NPR Podcast travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, about discovering tango, the dance that changed the course of her life. 

KCBX

Correspondent, Tom Wilmer visits with San Luis Obispo, California based author, Kendra Aronson about her new book, The San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Simple Seasonal Recipes & Short Stories from the Central Coast of California. The cookbook features 196 pages of 60 seasonal recipes and 40 short stories.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Chattanooga. Come along and join the conversation with passionate music lover, Mary Howard Ade. She moved here from New York City to work as the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau’s full-time Music Marketing Manager

Live music has been an integral ingredient in the cultural fabric of Chattanooga since the founding of the riverfront town in 1839. Bessie Smith, born in Chattanooga in 1892, was fondly nicknamed "Empress of the Blues" and became America’s #1 blues performer throughout the 1920s and 30s.

Thomas Wilmer / Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Nancy Darga, Detroit, auto

  Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Detroit Michigan at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Henry Ford’s first purpose-built auto assembly factory constructed in 1904--This where the Model T was born and sparked the advent of the age of the automobile. 

Thomas Wilmer

Join Correspondent Tom Wilmer in Detroit, Michigan at Hitsville U.S.A., the birthplace of Motown Records. The Motown Sound— It’s been described as a marriage of saintly and secular music, melding the syncopation and improvisation of the jazz be-bop movement.

Thomas Wilmer

Phillip Cooley saw opportunity in a 30,000 square-foot abandoned, derelict printing plant in downtown Detroit’s Westside Corktown neighborhood.

Cooley purchased the foreclosed building for $100,000 in 2011 with a vision to provide low-cost commercial incubator workspaces for startups that could not afford market-rate workspaces, along with small businesses struggling to grow on limited budgets. 

Sean Weir

  83 year-old Herb Filipponi’s father emigrated to the Central Coast of California from the Swiss canton of Ticino in the dawning days of the 20th Century. Herb’s dad married a girl from Cambria, a member of the Fiscalini family, who had also emigrated from Ticino.  

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