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) 
Melissa Corbin

The chain of missions established along the San Antonio River in the 1700s form the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America, and have recently gained global recognition as they received UNESCO World Heritage status. Come along with the NPR podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer Associate Producer, Melissa Corbin, as she explores the Mission's history and how it's beginning to feed more than just the mind.  

  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.  

Thomas Wilmer

The Santa Lucia mountain range delineates the boundary of the California Central Coast’s maritime influenced grape growing region. Head a couple miles inland from the ridge tops of the Santa Lucia’s and you’ll suddenly find yourself far from the cooling influences of the summertime fog, and cooling ocean breezes.

Thomas Wilmer

    

 In search of solutions to the extreme threat to California’s forests and watersheds, correspondent Tom Wilmer met with Bob Kingman, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Assistant Executive Officer in Auburn, California. He then visits with Sean O’Brien in San Luis Obispo about urban forested Monterey Pines in conjunction with Cal Fire in Cambria.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer as he speaks with award-winning writer Steven T. Callan, author of Badges, Bears, and Eagles—The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden, a 2013 “Book of the Year” finalist.

Callan is the recipient of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 “Best Outdoor Magazine Column” awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of California. His sequel, The Game Warden’s Son (released March 1, 2016, by Coffeetown Press of Seattle) is the focus of Callan’s 2016 book tour.

Much like a biscuit’s layers, the International Biscuit Festival has given rise to this cultural phenomenon. Listen to associate producer, Melissa Corbin reporting from Knoxville, Tennessee as she reveals how each of us are connected to of all things…a biscuit.

Graffiti Art is part of Detroit culture
Thomas Wilmer

Join Correspondent, Tom Wilmer reporting from Detroit, Michigan for an exploration of street Murals and Graffiti/Calligraphic art with Matthew Eaton, co-owner of Library Street Collective Gallery, and Derek Weaver, founder of Detroit’s Grand River Creative Corridor and the 4731 Gallery.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer in Detroit, Michigan for a visit with Dan Fuoco Interactive Marketing Manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

Arkansas Largest Hotel
Thomas Wilmer

Hot Springs Arkansas is only an hour away from the Capital City of Little Rock, but this historic town is decidedly distinct. The town is a National Park because of its thermal hot springs. Before the advent of modern medicine, the hot springs drew health seekers from around the world.

Cal Poly graduate, Sean Christopher Weir visits with correspondent, Tom Wilmer about his book, The Mad Crush—A Memoir of Mythic Vines and Improbable Winemaking.

Thomas Wilmer

An innovator in the passenger vessel industry, Terry MacRae, is the Chairman and CEO of Hornblower Cruises & Events. In addition to crafting the only fleet of hybrid vessels in North America, MacRae has built an empire of more than 70 yachts in the last 35 years.

NPS PIO Alexandra Picavet
Thomas Wilmer

Even though Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary has been closed since 1963, the myth, legend, and lore of the infamous Rock that housed prisoners such as Al “Scarface” Capone, the “Birdman of Alcatraz”, and “Machine Gun” Kelly has grown exponentially over the past half century.

NPS Superintendent, Chris Lehnertz
Thomas Wilmer

There are 29 National Recreation Areas across America. One of the most distinctive is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that includes 80,000 acres of ecologically and historically significant destinations around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Robert Luke
Thomas Wilmer

Robert Luke, assigned prisoner number 1118AZ, arrived at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on April 14th 1954 and was paroled on April 29th 1959. It was the smell of fresh mown grass wafting across the island from somewhere in San Francisco that spurred him to go the straight and narrow path.

Former Alcatraz Guard George DeVincenzi
Thomas Wilmer

Retired Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary guard, George DeVincenzi served on “The Rock” from 1950 to 1958, departing just five years before the infamous island prison closed forever in 1963.

Alcatraz Clergy
Thomas Wilmer

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary opened in 1934 and when it closed its cell doors for the last time in 1963 more than fifteen hundred prisoners had served time on the Rock.

Thomas Wilmer

Morro Bay Maritime Museum board member, Judy Salamacha talks with correspondent, Tom Wilmer about the June 4th and 5th festivities celebrating the historic tugboat, Alma’s new home, adjacent to the Naval DSRV deep sea rescue submarine and the USCG rescue vessel.

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

Film Director Max Barbakow
Tom Wilmer

Award-winning film director and screenwriter, Max Barbakow grew up in Santa Barbara, California and graduated from The Thatcher School in nearby Ojai in 2007.

Tom Wilmer

Correspondent, Tom Wilmer explores the world of fresh ocean seafood with Morro Bay Commercial fisherman and restaurant owner, Mark Tognazzini, who talks about just what constitutes “fresh”, and the local fishermen who travel as far as 1,000 miles out to sea to catch pelagic fish such as Tuna and swordfish. 

Tom Wilmer

When Correspondent, Tom Wilmer cast off from the dock in downtown San Diego, bound for a whale watching adventure off the coast, he had no idea that meeting and visiting with the onboard naturalists would be just as fascinating as watching the whales.

Thomas Wilmer

The town of Hot Springs, Arkansas is also a National Park, and by geographic area it's America's smallest Park. Join Correspondent, Tom Wilmer for a visit with Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. 

Tom Wilmer

  Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas is just an hour from the Capital City of Little Rock, but it’s light years away. 

Tom Wilmer

Japantown in the heart of downtown San Jose has been a vital part of Santa Clara Valley’s history since the 1890s. 

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