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) 
Costa Rica flower
Thomas Wilmer

Jim Damalas with Greentique Hotels in Costa Rica talks about the trend setting hotel group’s four distinctive properties, set within four of the country’s five tropical forests, and the group’s intrinsic philosophy of trendsetting environmental sustainability.  

Villa Blanca is set high in the cloud forest, while Si Como No Resort and Wildlife Refuge in Manuel Antonio National Park is Cliffside overlooking the Pacific.

Author, Amanda Summer is an archaeologist and award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Islands, Archaeology, Odyssey and The Best Travel Writing. For the past 30 years she has returned to the Greek island of Ithaka, where she searched for the palace of Odysseus starting in 1984 with a team from Washington University in St. Louis. 

1919 Green Bay Packers team
www.packers.com

Brenda Krainik and Candy Conard in Green Bay, Wisconsin share the back-story of how the Green Bay Packers came to be America’s only non-profit NFL team. More than 360,000 fans are ardent shareholders, and the concession stands at Lambeau Field are operated by local non-profit organizations. Brenda also shares insights about cool things to do and see in the little town of Green Bay—with the world’s most passionate football fans.

Sprint Center KC MO
Thomas Wilmer

  Celeste Lupercio, Director of Sales, Marketing and Events takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery at the interactive, very much hands-on College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Experience are located inside the Sprint Center.

Tom Bradshaw, Lexington, Virginia
Thomas Wilmer

Tom Bradshaw was so fascinated with the old railway Caboose that he bought his own circa-1926 C&O “woody” and had it set on his property near Lexington, Virginia. Fully restored, Tom’s caboose serves as a memorable place to spend the night. Join Tom as he shares the tale of finding and restoring his iconic red caboose.

Underbed music: theme song David Holt’s PBS TV series Great American Railway Journeys from the album David Holt & Friends 

San Luis Obispo County outlaw from the 1800's Pio Linares
The History Center of San Luis Obispo County

Historian Jim Gregory says, “California was a wild and lawless place in the 1850s, and San Luis Obispo County was no exception with the highest murder rate in America.” Outlaws and bandits passed along El Camino Real leaving a trail of victims. The James brothers, the Daltons and even Al Capone made their mark here. 

Rock Harbor Marketing

Rock Harbor Marketing owner and social media marketer, Travis Ford, based in Morro Bay, California talks about the current social media landscape and how to manage the multiplicity of business options--from the best social business platform to scheduling posts. 

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. A highlight of the park is the Agricultural & Rural Life Museum that includes King City’s circa-1903 Train Depot, a one-room circa-1887 Schoolhouse, a main exhibit barn, an irrigation history museum, along with than 50 antique tractors, and farm equipment. In addition to picnic spots, there are overnight RV and tent campsites. Executive Director Jessica Potts shares insights about this Monterey County hidden gem. 

Frank Lloyd Wright's Madison Unitarian Meeting House designed in 1946 and completed in 1951
Thomas Wilmer

March Schweitzer talks about the First Unitarian Society’s Meeting House in Madison, Wisconsin. Designed by parishioner Frank Lloyd Wright in 1946 and completed in 1951, his radical design served to transform 20th Century Church architecture. Schweitzer also talks about Frank Lloyd Wrong—a moniker earned via a heartless side of Wright’s personality.

Dave Lohrentz at Madison Sourdough
Thomas Wilmer

 Dave Lohrentz, co-owner of Madison Sourdough Bakery & Café talks about the passionate quest to source healthy ingredients locally, from Amish eggs, to wheat, rye, and cream. Madison Sourdough is ranked among Madison, Wisconsin's top three locally sourcing facilities. Come along and join the conversation with Dave Lohrentz.

Old Sugar Distillery's distinctive copper pot stills
Old Sugar Distillery

Nathan Greenawalt’s Old Sugar Distillery in downtown Madison, Wisconsin pays homage to the state’s history as a sugar beat producer.

Come along and join Greenawalt in his Madison tasting room as he talks about his passion for producing handcrafted Old Sugar whiskey. Find out what Old Sugar Distillery is up to on Facebook.

Otto Dilba at Ale Asylum in Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join Otto Dilba at the Ale Asylum in Madison, Wisconsin where they brew award-winning beer in sanity.  Ale Asylum takes the purest approach, just water, malt, hops and yeast—no spices, no fruit, no chocolate— As a testimonial to their craft, Bedlam brew was rated among the world’s top ten Belgian Style IPA’s by RateBeer.com

Ken Clark, manager at the newly renovated The Landing in Morro Bay proves that you do not have to stay at a waterfront hotel to capture an awesome view of the bay.
Thomas Wilmer

Join Jennifer Little with Morro Bay Tourism as we visit with the innkeepers at two waterfront boutique hotels, La Roche, and Estero Inn, and The Landing—an upscale reincarnation of the iconic Breaker’s Motel, just one block above the Embarcadero in the heart of California's Highway One Discovery Route.

Tony and Julie Hook at their Mineral Point, Wisconsin cheese factory
Hook's Cheese Company

From their non-descript cheese factory in Mineral Point, Wisconsin Tony and Julie Hook have carved an enviable slice in the world of Wisconsin cheese crafting, and have earned the formal title as “World Champion Cheese Makers”. Come along and discover why Hook’s Cheese Company makes some of Wisconsin’s finest, why the French now import Wisconsin cheese, and why the process of becoming a Certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker is equivalent to earning a PhD. 

Elizabeth Eckford runs a gauntlet of hate to attend high school in Little Rock. The young white woman just over her shoulder with her mouth open, yelling at her is Hazel Bryan-- Arkansas September 1957
Will Counts

September 4th, 1957 was the first day of school in Little Rock Arkansas. Nine black children attempted to start classes at the all white Central High school. Their entry was blocked by hundreds of Arkansas national Guardsmen who had been sent on direct orders issued by Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus to block the entry of the nine black students who will forever live on in history as the Little Rock Nine.

Colleen Bos at her Bos Meadery in Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Mead, made from honey is the most ancient of wines with archeological evidence dating back 9,000 years. Mead got lost in the shuffle with the proliferation of grape wines over the centuries, but it’s definitely making stellar comeback today. Bos Meadery celebrating its 5th anniversary, is a shining star in Madison, Wisconsin with a growing base of ardent fans. Join mead-maven Colleen Bos, as she shares her passion for mead.

Host Tom Wilmer visits with Cal Poly Intern Randy Hair (Left) Virginia Scripps (Center) and Kain Tietzel, CEO of StartVR (Right) in the KCBX NPR affiliate studio in San Luis Obispo, California
KCBX

  

Kain Tietzel, CEO and founder of Sydney, Australia based Start VR talks about the newly released Atlas Obscura VR (virtual reality) hi-fidelity virtual travel experience.

Join Tietzel, Virginia Scripps with Los Angeles based Press Kitchen PR, and Cal Poly intern Randi Hair as we explore the new frontier of virtual world travel via a smart phone and headset.

Madison, Wisconsin's weekly Farmer's Market attacks more than 20,000 people every week throughout the summer season
Thomas Wilmer

Dane County’s weekly Farmers Market attracts more than 20,000 people during the height of the summer season, but it’s a year-round affair. With more than 275 vendors, more than 150 set up shop weekly. The market is much more than just a place to shop for fresh Wisconsin produce, it’s an epic place to socialize and bring the entire family. Tom Wilmer visits with Market Manager Sarah Elliott  at the Wisconsin State Capital Square in downtown Madison, Wisconsin  for the inside scoop.

The lakefront dock at The Edegwater Hotel in Madison where boaters tie up for free
Thomas Wilmer

It’s no accident that The Edgewater is Madison, Wisconsin's only Four Diamond hotel. Come along and discover why The Edgewater is a bellwether and trendsetter for America’s hospitality industry. 

FranK Lloyd Wright designed Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Tom Wilmer and his associate, Annita Thomas from Atlanta Georgia visit with Diane Morganthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau. Diane shares a litany of cool things to do and see for the entire family. 

Wisconsin Brewing

Brothers Mark and Carl Nolan, and Brewmaster Kirby Nelson started Wisconsin Brewing in 2013—and they never looked back. Join the conversation with Carl Nolan and Kirby Nelson and discover how their brew differs from the craft beer craze. They also talk about the industry-wide momentum across the country to modernize the industry through start-up/business friendly legislation proposals.

Wisconsin brewing is located less than 20 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin.

Iconic Ragged Point sign has pointed the way for decades
Thomas Wilmer

A massive landslide this past spring sealed off Highway 1 nine miles north of the San Luis Obispo/Monterey County line. Fortunately the dramatic realm of Big Sur Country south of the slide is still open and accessible. Tom Wilmer visits with Rory Cosma at the family-owned Ragged Point Inn and Resort, located 24-miles north of Cambria. 

Trump & Obama figurines in shop window
Thomas Wilmer

Over the course of the past few months I’ve covered the breadth of Tennessee on assignments for my digital media podcast show. When time allowed, at the conclusion of an interview, when the subject had made mention of Trump, I’d ask if they might share their feelings about why they support Trump.

amazing museum on a side street in downtown Gatlingburg, Tennessee--the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum
Salt & Pepper Museum Gatlinburg, Tennessee

America’s only Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the culmination of a lifelong passion of owner and curator Andrea Ludden. Join Andrea’s son, Alex for a tour of the amazing little museum and its collection of more than 20,000 salt & pepper shakers, including 15,000 pepper mills that are visual metaphors for cultural trends in America’s past and around the world.

The Village Shops at Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Dan Booth is Chairman of the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau and owner of the Hayloft at The Village Shops. Booth share's a local’s eye-view of life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and how the mountain town missed out on the Great Depression. 

Fanny Flagg with host, Tom Wilmer
Hartzler Communications

Ms. Fanny Flagg, born in Birmingham, Alabama, started writing and producing TV specials at age 19 and before long became co-host of the morning show on WBRC TV Birmingham. 

The Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee--frozen in time
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Faith Morris, Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer at the National Civil Rights Museum in MemphisTennessee.

U.S. Army Air Forces Crash Boats trained in Morro Bay but there's much to be learned about their mission here.
Library of Congress

Joe Dunlap, a class of 1966 graduate of Morro Bay High School, and a U.S. Navy veteran, has been a student of WWII history for more than forty years. His areas of specialization include the Richmond California shipyards, and the U.S. Navy and Army base at Morro Bay, California where troops trained for South Pacific Landings.

The Morro Bay Detachment, Training command Amphibian Forces Pacific Fleet Landing Craft School drilled as many as 16,000 troops daily. Come along and join Joe Dunlap on the Morro Bay waterfront as he shares informative insights about Morro Bay’s vital role in WWII.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Denise the owner of Virg's Landing sport fishing company based in Morro Bay.
Jennifer Little

Virg’s Landing has been an iconic ingredient in the Morro Bay sport fishing experience since 1954. Come along and join Denise, the owner of Virg’s for the inside scoop on day-trip fishing expeditions out of Morro Bay, California.

Michael David Winery owner Michael Phillips
Thomas Wilmer

The wine label, Seven Deadly Zins, produced by Michael David Winery was instrumental in putting Lodi, California on the map as a world-class producer of fine wines. Join Mike Phillips and daughter Melissa at their Lodi winery for a fascinating conversation with Tom Wilmer that proves that a catchy label is just as important as the wine inside the bottle.

Pages