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) 
Courtesy of Jackie Milligan

Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii’s Kohala Coast serves as a memorable educational experience for resort guests. But Dolphin Quest’s unsung program is educational field trips for Hawaii’s school children. 

Thomas Wilmer

The reason the 4,000-square-mile island of Hawaii is fondly dubbed the 'Big Island' is because it’s the size of Connecticut—it’s so big, all of the other Hawaiian Islands would fit within the boundary of the island. 

Simon Amos Hotel Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii visits with correspondent Tom Wilmer
KCBX

Join Simon Amos as he shares tales of his early career path in London and Paris, and international career with Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Equally fascinating is his mission to source fresh, local culinary offerings on the Big Island of Hawaii and his ongoing quest for environmental solutions and initiatives at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Oakfire Pizzeria and Bar
Oakfire Pizzeria and Bar

Join Paul Meckler, Operations Manager at Oakfire Napoletana & Bar in downtown Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Meckler talks about Oakfire’s popular Neapolitan-style pizzas—cooked in 90 seconds at 800 degrees in special ovens imported from Italy. 

Dan Koehler operates the world's largest Refracting telescope, built in 1897 at Yerkes Observatory
Thomas Wilmer

Join Dan Koehler, Director of Tours and Programs at Yerkes Observatory. The 40” refracting telescope is the largest ever built in the world. Amazingly Yerkes Observatory’s stunning Gothic Romanesque architecturally significant structure and telescope first opened in 1897.  

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Will King, design engineer at bicycle part manufacturer SRAM’s San Luis Obispo R&D high-tech facility. King talks with Tom about SRAM’s open house on July 20 and its involvement with World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit organization mobilizing people through "The Power of Bicycles."

Urban Tavern culinary offering
Urban Tavern San Francisco Union Square

Join Chef Michael Vaughn at Urban Tavern in Union Square San Francisco. Chef Vaughn shares his passionate quest to push the envelope of sustainable sourcing and kitchen practices.

Pacifica on highway 1 just south of San Francisco is so close to the Bay Area that one can see both SFO and the town of Seaside from the window of an airplane
Thomas Wilmer

The seaside town of Pacifica, California is just 14 miles from San Francisco but it’s a world apart. Join Jamie Monozon, CEO of Pacifaca Chamber of Commerce for an insider’s look at the town's many attractions. 

Lake Geneva Cruise Line vessels ready to take people out on lake adventures
Thomas Wilmer

A conversation with Bill Gage, third-generation steward of Gage Marine and the iconic Lake Geneva Cruise line that’s been delivering the daily mail via boat for 102 years.

Outward Bound participants rapelling off the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Outward Bound California

Join the leaders of Outward Bound California, based in San Francisco as they share their passion for their outdoor adventure programs that include expeditionary-style backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering. Urban adventure challenges include the breathtaking fundraiser--rapelling off the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square (October 12th and 13th 2018).

Fernando Pujals (left) takes correspondent Tom Wilmer on a walk through a Tenderloin neighborhood park that has evolved from a congregating place for hookers and drug dealers to a welcoming place for kids. The palpable transformation evolved in less than
Randi Hair

Join Fernando Pujals, Director of Communications with San Francisco's Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TLCBD) and discover the numerous ways Tenderloin residents have come together to create safe environments for kids. 

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

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