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) 
Laurie McCandish King talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about her new book, Your Crocodile Has Arrived.
Jim Shubin

 Laurie Mcandish King's brilliance as an author was succinctly summed up by noted travel journalist, Jeff Greenwald: "King's curiosity is contagious—whether she's visiting a shrine to Buddha's tooth, undergoing shamanic surgery, or crashing a convention of flying saucer sighters. Her tales glow with wit, warmth and a sense of wonder." Come along a join the conversation on the docks in Morro Bay, California with host, Tom Wilmer and Ms. King.

Tim McCormick Project Manager (left), Jim Fricke Curatorial Director (right), Tom Wilmer (center) at Harley-Davidson Museum
Harely-Davidson Museum

Join Jim Fricke, Curatorial Director at the 130,000 square-foot Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as he shares highlights of the legendary motorcycle’s 117-year history.

The first Harley was introduced in 1903. By 1920 Harley-Davidson was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer with dealers in 67 countries. Discover how the motorcycle’s role in WWI and WWII propelled the legend of the Harley. 

On February 19th 1942 FDR signed Executive order 9066 requiring the relocation and internment of all California coastal residents of Japanese descent. Historian Jim Gregory, author of WWII Arroyo Grande shares the sorrows and triumphs of the dramatic period in Arroyo Grande history—a time when more than forty percent of the high school student body was of Japanese ancestry.

Taliesin--Frank Lloyd Wrights home in Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join Erik Flesch at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s ancestral home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Flesch is a longtime expert on Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture and he's Taliesin Preservation’s Director of Development.

SRAM Design Engineer Will king shows off a Buffalo Bicycle
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Will King, Design Engineer at SRAM’s San Luis Obispo R&D high-tech bicycle component facility. King talks with Tom about SRAM’s involvement with World Bicycle Relief a nonprofit organization mobilizing people through The Power of Bicycles. 

John Sepulvado KQED California Report Host
KQED

KQED's California Report host, John Sepulvado shares his passion for building relationships with NPR affiliate stations across the State. 

Blacksmith, Ralph Oalmann teaches history through his craft and presentations at Fort Gaines
Thomas Wilmer

Fort Gaines Historic Site on Daughin Island, Alabama was etched in to the annals of Civil War history as the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay where Union Naval Admiral Farragot shouted the legendary order, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.”

Shades of the Guggenheim in NYC at Monona Terrace
Thomas Wilmer

Madison, Wisconsin’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center was first proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. But it was 21 years before the project was completed, sadly just weeks after Wright’s death. 

Racine Museum of Art night scene
Racine Museum of Art

 Bruce Pepich, Executive Director and Curator of Collections at the Racine Museum of Art talks about making art relevant to the non-artist. Outreach programs where the art comes to the schools, and alluring programs where the people come to the art in Racine, Wisconsin.

Hull's Drive-in Theatre Logo
Hull's Drive In

Come along and join Jeremy Reter as he talks about how the Lexington, Virginia townspeople saved their drive-in theater. Reter also talks about the resurgence of Drive in Theaters in Virginia and around the country. Hull’s Drive-In Theatre has been a part of the Rockbridge area community for more than 50 years.

Jo Licata, Community Outreach Coordinator Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Thomas Wilmer

Jo Licata, Community Outreach Coordinator at the Hilton San Francisco Union square talks about the hotel's second use and higher purpose program that recycles soaps, shampoos, toilet paper, leftover items from conferences, hotel furnishings, and much more. One of Hilton’s many non-profit partnerships is Clean the World Foundation that distributes hygiene supplies worldwide.

National Park Ranger Jennifer Hale on the trail near Sugarlands Visitors Center
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Sugarlands Visitors Center, just 11 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Ranger, Jennifer Hale talks about the park’s astounding biodiversity, activities and history.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art metaphorical architecture
Tom Wilmer

Celebrating 116 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the longest serving cultural organization in the city. Join Erika Monroe-Kane Director of Communications for an insider’s look at the ways the free-access museum brings art to the people and people to the art in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison Children's Museum

Join Gabriella Gerhardt, Development Officer at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. It’s a hands-on engaging place where free-play is the operative. Discover why NPR ranked one of the exhibits among the top ten in America, and learn about the live chickens, the human hamster cage, the engaging new Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, and more—just for kids.

GM's Aerotrain  at the National Railroad Museum
Tom Wilmer

Join Jacqueline Frank Executive Director of the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mandated by Congress it’s the only National Railroad Museum in America. 

A sampler of the museum rolling stock includes “Big Boy” the world’s largest steam locomotive; Pullman cars, GG-1 America’s most famous electric locomotive; and the captivating aerodynamic “Aerotrain” built by General Motors and unveiled in 1955.

Green Bay, Wisconsin's City Deck redeveloped waterfront
City of Green Bay Wisconsin

Not too long ago downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin’s downtown fronted on a blighted, industrial riverfront—that was not people friendly. Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director of Downtown Green Bay Inc., explains how the town’s waterfront City Deck redeveloped riverfront attracted an influx of new business ventures and urban dwellers into the heart of downtown.

Henning's Wisconsin Cheese logo stamped on a block of cheese
Thomas Wilmer

The Courthouse Pub in Manitowoc, Wisconsin does a thriving lunch and dinner trade, and it was their killer fried cheese curds that were mentioned by everyone who recommended the place. We’ll also stop in for visit at Henning’s Cheese factory in Kiel, Wisconsin—the source of the pub’s coveted fresh cheese curds.

USS Cobia at Wisconsin Martime Museum
Thomas Wilmer

The history and science of the Great Lakes maritime world is showcased at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. Set appropriately on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, the hands-on museum is Wisconsin’s first Smithsonian Affiliate facility. Among the many interactive attractions that appeal to young and old alike is America’s most extensively restored WWII submarine USS Cobia anchored out front. Next up, join us onboard the charter motor sailboat Parlay in Sturgeon Bay with Captain Tom for a Cruise through Green Bay and Lake Michigan. 

Allin Walker & Margaret Lockwood in their Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin gallery
Thomas Wilmer

Join Margaret Lockwood and her husband Allin Walker who have been involved in the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin art scene for more than 25 years. Their new gallery in the heart of town also serves as the home to a local theater group in addition to showcasing paintings, ceramics, mobiles, jewelry and more.  

White Lace Inn an architectural icon in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin since 1903
Thomas Wilmer

The White Lace Inn has been a part of Sturgeon Bay for close to forty years. Dennis, the owner and innkeeper shares the tale of the inn’s past and present. There are 18 rooms and suites within four elegant Victorian-era homes on a tree shaded lane just two blocks from downtown, and the sumptuous breakfasts at the inn is worth the stay.

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.

Glass art on display at Popelka Trenchard Glass studio in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join nationally known artists Stephanie Trenchard and Jeremy Popelka in their Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin studio for a conversation with correspondent Tom Wilmer. Stephanie and Jeremy share their personal philosophies, and their passion for creating distinctive blown and cut glass sculptures, jewelry and fine art paintings.

Barbara Buhr in her Warm Springs VA gallery
Thomas Wilmer

Barbara Buhr, owner of the Warm Springs Gallery and cafe talks about experiencing the charms of the little town of Warm Springs, and Bath County with a combined population of less then 5,000 citizens.

M.V. Mojo chartered by Hollywood actor George C. Scott, attempts to leave Morro Bay Harbor back in 1978
Scott Redd

One of the most iconic images associated with Morro Bay, California is a photo of Hollywood star, George C. Scott’s chartered yacht, the 84’ long M.V. Mojo, being smashed by a monster wave as it attempted to leave the harbor during a turbulent winter storm, January 28, 1978.

Allegheny Mountain  String Project Director, Jaime McCardle
Thomas Wilmer

The Allegheny Mountain String Project offers life-enhancing and transformative opportunities for students living in rural Virginia counties of Allegheny, Bath, and Highland Counties.

U.S. Navy amphib training base at Morro Bay, California included Crash Boat air/sea rescue exercises
uscrashboats.org

There’s an elegant luxury charter yacht home ported in Newport Beach, California. One has to look closely at Dream Maker’s lines to realize that the vessel was long ago a WW II Army Air Corps Air/Sea Rescue vessel, that were often referred to as “Crash Boats”.

Stunningly beautiful homes abound in Racine, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Racine Wisconsin is just 22 miles south of Milwaukee but it’s a world apart. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the town abounds with historic homes and a downtown that abounds with charm. Come along join outgoing mayor, John Dickert and discover how Racine is reinventing itself and attracting start-up businesses.

Garth Newel Music Center

Garth Newel Music Center, situated in the Allegheny Mountains in Bath County, Virginia, is less than 3.5 hours from Washington D.C., but it’s a world away. Founded in 1973 Garth Newel is home to one of America’s premier chamber quartets. Join the conversation with violinist Teresa Ling, Evelyn Grau (viola), Isaac Melamed (Cello), and Jeanette Fang (piano).

Rockaway Beach Pacifica, California
Pacifica Chamber of Commerce

The seaside town of Pacifica, California is just 10 miles from San Francisco International Airport but it’s a world apart from the bustle of the Bay Area. Crab fishing on the pier, whale watching, dining in family owned eateries, beachcombing, surfing, hiking, and live music are just some of Pacifica’s attractions.

The performance hall at Garth Newel Music Center is a converted horse arena
Thomas Wilmer

Shawn Puller, Executive Director at Garth Newel Music Center talks about the resident Piano Quartet and the vibrancy of chamber music in America. Garth Newel showcases more than 50 live musical performances annually, and ongoing educational programs. 

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