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) 
Olan Tisdale, owner of Fredericksburg Pecan Company shares his passion for the Texas pecan
Thomas Wilmer

Olan Tisdale’s passion for producing pecans dates from his childhood on Barnett Ranch near San Saba, Texas. Today in addition to growing pecans he and his wife Nanette operate the Fredericksburg Pecan Company retail store with online sales as well. 

Doug Lewis of Lewis Wines pours his vino at Fischer & Wieser Culinary Adventure in Fredericksburg, Texas
Thomas Wilmer

Thirty year-old Doug Lewis owner of Lewis Wines along with his partner Duncan McNabb, operate their winery in the heart of the Texas Hill Country near Johnson City. 

The historic adobe at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande Valley
Tom Wilmer

Brian Talley’s grandfather started farming in the Arroyo Grande Valley back in 1948. It was Brian’s dad who planted grapes in the early 1980s and eventually started producing wine as well, and as they say, the rest is history. 

Back in 1946 five year-old Jimmy Hawkins played the role of Tommy in It’s a Wonderful Life. Decades later the film was voted the most inspirational movie of all time by the American Film Institute. When it hit silver screen for Christmas season in 1946, it was a box-office flop and lost $500,000 even though it was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Judi Boulter visits with correspondent Tom Wilmer at Trellis Coffee Company on the Big Island of Hawaii
Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer

The Trellis Coffee Company, producers of the Kona Joe Coffee brand on the Big Island of Hawaii, is one of hundreds of coffee producers in the Kona District. Kona Joe was the first island coffee grower to utilize a trellising system. 

Lim Family Luau at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel pays homage to old Hawaii
Thomas Wilmer

The Lim family Luau has been performing at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel since Laurance Rockefeller opened the resort back in the mid-1960s. Today the luau is the oldest, continuously operating show on the Big Island of Hawaii. Lorna Lim talks story about her family’s passion for performing authentic song, hula dance, and tales of old Hawaii. 

Manta Restaurant Executive Sous Chef Rio Miceli (Left) and Wendle Lesher (Center) Director of Food and Beverage at Mauna Kea Resort talk with correspondent Tom Wilmer
Mauna Kea Resort

Executive Sous Chef Rio Miceli and Wendle Lesher Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea Resort’s Manta Restaurant talk story about honoring and showcasing Hawaii’s multi-ethnic cuisine. 

Rolinda Bean teacher of Hawaiian history and culture
Thomas Wilmer

Hawaiian culture and history teacher Rolinda Bean talks story about her personal journey of teaching Hawaiian history and cultural mores that have been passed along generation after generation through genetic imprinting and story. Ms. Bean teaches Hawaiian culture and history on the Big Island of Hawaii and works at the Sheraton Kona Resort.

Travel correspondent Tom Wilmer visits Healdsburg California and talks with local business owners about the economic recovery of their community following the devastating fires earlier this year.

Executive Chef George Gomes at the Sheraton Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii
Sheraton Kona

George Gomes, the Executive Chef at the  Sheraton Kona Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii has been a passionate chef since he was a teenager. His first big break was a stint as a chef at the legendary Mauna Kea Resort on the Kona Coast. Gomes shares his culinary passions and lessons learned from stints around the world and close to home.

Jarrett Daniel Frith tends his oyster boat, Fort Morgan, Alabama
Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at Shellbank Selects Oyster Farm on the waterfront in Fort Morgan, Alabama for a chat with partners, Jarrett Daniel Frith and Lew Childre as they share their story and passion for raising delectable Gulf Coast Oysters.

Fresh delectable oysters served at Hangout Oyster Cook-off in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Thomas Wilmer

The 10th annual Hangout Oyster Cook-Off Gulf Shores Alabama, the first weekend in November 2017 revisited. Join Kay Morgan with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for a walkabout visit with some of America’s top oyster producers. 

Rum Sisters alcohol infused cakes in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Rum Sisters

  

Elizabeth Jones had no clue that baking a batch of rum cakes to serve at her family aviation business would lead to a new career that’s been going viral. Everyone loved Jones’s gourmet alcohol infused rum cakes so much they clattered for more, which led her to open award-winning Rum Sisters with online sales and a brick-and-mortar in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The Hangout Oyster Cook Off held every November in Gulf Shores, Alabama draws thousands from near and far
Thomas Wilmer

The Annual Oyster Cook Off at the Hangout held every November in Gulf Shores, Alabama is just one of the many events that draw thousands of visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. 

Sonoma County Wine Library in Healdsburg, California
Thomas Wilmer

Megan Jones, Curator at the Sonoma County Wine Library in Healdsburg, California talks about the go-to place to research everything from historical Northern California wine industry archives to accessing more than 1,000 rare books dating from 1514.  The Wine Library is regarded as one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of wine information.

Pete Seghesio behind the counter at Journeymen meat Company in downtown Healdsburg, Cailfornia
Thomas Wilmer

Pete and Cathy Seghesio created a modern incarnation of the old-country butcher shop in downtown Healdsburg, California. The Seghesio’s offer fresh custom cut meat to go, or cooked on-site, with the added twist of wine tasting and culinary treats such as pizzas, salumi and sausages fresh from their wood-fired oven.  

Dovetail Gallery, downtown Healdsburg, California
THOMAS WILMER

Patricia Kirkish, owner of the Dovetail Collection Gallery in downtown Healdsburg, California talks about the unique collection of handcrafted furniture, glass, pottery, and unique 3-D paintings. 

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Thomas Wilmer

65 miles north of the Golden Gate is Healdsburg in the heart of wine country. Join Casey Marks, docent at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve; Ryan Birrer manager at Barndiva Restaurant in downtown Healdsburg, specializing in locally sourced modern country cuisine; and innkeeper John Harasty at historic Haydon Street Inn.  

Healdsburg Shed--winner of James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design 2014
Thomas Wilmer

A conversation with Perry Hoffman, Culinary Director at the Healdsburg Shed—the winner of the 2014 James Beard Award for best Restaurant Design in America. The Shed is a popular market, café, and community gathering spot in the heart of downtown Healdsburg, California.

Jordan Winery cellars, Alexander Valley
Thomas Wilmer

Tom and Sally Jordan pioneered producing Bordeaux-style California Cabernet Sauvignon in Alexander Valley back in the early 1970s. Join Tom and Sally’s son, John Jordan and Chef Knoll for a visit at the winery. 

The vistas of dry Creek Valley from Trattori Farms tasting room is worth the visit all on its own
Thomas Wilmer

Mary Louise Bucher and her husband produce award-winning Rhone style wines and produce estate grown extra-virgin olive oil. Join Mary as she talks about her family farm and giving back to the community in the wake of the devastating fires that swept through the region.

Gia Baiocchi serves up some fresh organic juice at her Nectary in downtown Healdsburg, California
Thomas Wilmer

Gia Baiocchi’s Nectary in downtown Healdsburg, California is raising the bar with organic cold-pressed juices and artisanal raw foods. Close by, a block from the Plaza is Sonoma Cider, a leader in California’s burgeoning hard cider industry. Join Kole Christen in Sonoma Cider’s Tap Room.

Dustin Valette chef at Valette Restaurant, Healdsburg. Cailfornia
THOMAS WILMER

The path of destruction of the October 2017 Northern California wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and more than 25 wineries was indiscriminate. For example, the town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County was spared, but none-the-less there’s not a soul who was not directly affected. 

Al Sawyer shows off platter of Royal Red shrimp at King Neptune's Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Geiger

Join Al Sawyer, owner of King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama—where he’s been running the show for 24 years. King Neptune's rare deep-water Royal Red shrimp draws repeat diners from as far away as New York City.  

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. April Cheek-Messier at the National D-Day Memorial explains why the National D-Day Memorial is located in the rural town of Bedford, Virginia.

Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade shark entry
Morro Bay Winterfest

Teri Bayus talks about the array of waterfront events at the Morro Bay Winterfest 12 Days of Christmas events (December 1-12). Highlights include a lighted boat parade, a flotilla of stand-up-paddling angels, a Santa pub crawl, a tall ships sea battle, A gingerbread house competition, caroling with cops, and much more.

Alcatraz Watch Tower with Alcatraz Cruises vessel touring around the "Rock"
THOMAS WILMER

Antoinette Sespene with Alcatraz Cruises, a National Park Service concessioner, shares insights about unique tours such as the night tours with a maximum of 30 along with two docents. 

Adventures come alive at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit
THOMAS WILMER

Linda Walter, Director of Detroit’s Outdoor Adventure CenterMichigan’s first urban state park takes us on a tour of the three-story 41,000 square-foot Outdoor Adventure Center. 

Fowling utilizes regulation bowling pins with a truncated alley and a football.
THOMAS WILMER

Fowling--bowling with a football started as a lark fifteen years ago has become the rage in Hamtramck, Michigan and it’s poised to spread across the country. Come along and join Chris Hutt, the inventor of fowling (pronounced FOH-ling), at his 20 lane Fowling Warehouse, complete with two bars. Discover why thousands of Midwesterners and Canadians love the game. 

Giant Panda Research Base isa bamboo paradise
Thomas Wilmer

The Giant Panda is revered by not only the Chinese, but kids and adults alike around the world. The Chinese have long used the Giant Panda as a diplomatic ambassador of friendship. Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the Giant Panda Research Base facility in Chengdu, China with locals Mavis Liu Mei and Tiffany Shi Shi.

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