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) 
 Hot Springs National Park Brewster Rose Schweikhart
Thomas Wilmer

Rose Schweikhart turned a personal passion for beer in to a driving and thriving brewery and culinary business. It’s the Superior Bathhouse Brewery in the heart of downtown Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. Rose’s enterprise is the only brewery situated within a National Park, and it is the only brewery in the world utilizing thermal spring water.

Talkin' Birds radio show host Ray Brown at Grand Canyon
Talkin' Birds radio show

Ray Brown host of “Talkin’ Birds” is a frequent contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition is the creator of Talkin’ Birds radio show, heard on sixteen stations in New England, New York, Maryland, and internationally via iTunes and talkinbirds.com. Brown is also a regular bird-topics contributor to National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday. Join Correspondent Tom Wilmer in Michigan for a chat with Ray Brown.

Thai woman
David Noyes

David Noyes has been traveling the world for decades, recording photographic images of remote places and exotic people, from Tibet to Kenya. Correspondent Tom Wilmer visited with David at Chengdu, China Airport.

Historic Haas-Lilienthal Victorian circa-1887
Franklin-Habs 1960 book on Haas-Lilienthal home

San Francisco Heritage was founded in 1971 with a mandate to save a dozen Victorian homes slated for demolition. Today the non-profit is San Francisco’s leading advocacy and educational organization dedicated to architectural and cultural preservation.

Pete Murdaca in the kitchen at Pietro's in Lodi, California
Pietro's Trattoria

Pietro’s has been a favorite with Lodi, California locals since the Italian eatery opened 31 years ago. Family owned by Jim and Annette Murdaca, I stopped in for a visit with their son, Chef Pete who spent a year and a half learning the craft as an stagiaire (intern) in Calabria and Parma Southern Italy. 

Westin San Francisco Airport indoor pool
Westin San Francisco Airport

A visit with Simone Harms, General Manager of the Westin San Francisco Airport and sister property, the Aloft hotel. It's a popular business meeting and holiday party destination.  

preparing to fire cannon at Fort Michilimackinac
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Come along and join Dominic Miller on the shores of the Straits of Mackinac at the historic 18th Century colonial Michilimackinac fort and fur trading village. More than 16 structures have been painstakingly recreated utilizing years of archeological excavations and in situ research (ongoing since 1959). 

George Cecchetti and Karen Chandler at the Lodi, California farm
Thomas Wilmer

Partners Karen Chandler and George Cecchetti had a grove of 100 olive trees on their farm. One day Karen decided on a whim to propose to George that they should go in to the olive oil business. Join Karen Chandler as she shares their journey of producing award-winning first-press, extra virgin olive oil on their Lodi, California family farm.    

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via: 

Adventure Hornblower at San Diego
Thomas Wilmer

Terry MacRae started his professional life journey at Cal Poly State University. MacRae eventually grew a two-man Berkeley yacht operation to eventually become one of America’ s foremost operators of cruise vessels that today comprises of a fleet of more than 70 Hornblower Cruise vessels. 

Executive Chef Bill Glover in his Gallerie Bar & Bistro kitchen, Columbus, Ohio
Lara Kaylor

Columbus, Ohio is tapping into its agricultural roots to form a truly local food system, one in which farmers, chefs, and consumers can all participate. Join NPR Podcast host, Lara Kaylor with Chef Bill Glover of Gallerie Bar & Bistro at the Hilton Columbus Downtown as he leads the charge in bringing his community together to create a more sustainable way of eating.

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. 

Debbie Thomas, owner of Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, California
Thomas Wilmer

Thomas Hill Organics is a Paso Robles Bistro and wine bar that has maintained a primary mission of sourcing and preparing locally sourced, organically grown ingredients. Eight years after opening their doors, they are now putting finishing touches on a second location in downtown San Luis Obispo. Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with the owner Debbie Thomas.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via: 

Disney Stars skating at San Francisco's Embarcadero Center
Embarcadero Center

Laurie McAndish King visits with Danny Murtagh, Vice President of Engineering and Helen Han, Marketing Director, for Embarcadero Center’s owner, Boston Properties, as they discuss the upcoming official kickoff for San Francisco’s 2016 holiday season—the Winter Carnival and Lighting Ceremony at the Embarcadero Center.

Lodi's Wine & Roses graced with elegant architecture
Thomas Wilmer

Lodi, California has been a major producer of wine for more than a century, but it’s just now etching its place because of it truly word-class fine wines—this is the home of the legendary Seven Deadly Zins. Correspondent Tom Wilmer, reports from Lodi at the Wine & Roses hotel, restaurant, spa, and event center for a visit with Russ Munson as he talks, wine, cuisine, and more.

Hilton Hawaiian Village elegant tower
Thomas Wilmer

Hilton Hawaiian Village in the heart of Waikiki has been an integral part of the Oahu fabric since the 1960s.

Join Cynthia Rankin Regional Director Corporate Communications and Lora Gallagher Regional Marketing Director as they share Hilton’s mission to honor Pearl Harbor and all WWII veterans in conjunction with the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary remembrance ceremonies on Oahu.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii at Pacific Aviation Museum with Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff, and Historian Burl Burlington. The Ford Island museum is a showcase of aviation history from biplanes to modern jet fighters. Aircraft from WWII through the Viet Nam war era are housed in old military hangers, still showing machine gun bullet-hole scars from the December 7th 1941 Japanese aircraft attacks.

Becky Simmons at Museum of Ojibwe Culture in Saint Ignace, Michigan
Thomas Wilmer

Join Becky Simmons at the Museum of Ojibwe Culture in Saint Ignace, Michigan for a conversation with correspondent Tom Wilmer. Ms. Simmons shares her Ojibwe journey that commenced when she learned as a 12 year-old that she was not French Canadian, but Ojibwe. 

Kayak journey through the Canadian locks with Birds Eye Adventures
Thomas Wilmer

It’s a new venture for Ken and Wilda Hopper in Sault Ste Marie. It’s an evolving work in progress where the couple’s headquarters specializes in “coffee, beer, and gear” in addition to rentals, sales, Birds Eye Outfitters offers cool guided kayak, stand up paddle and canoe adventures to the far side of St. Mary’s river and through the locks on the Canadian side of the waters. 

SF Hotel Council's Jessica Lum (L) with Jo Licata, Hilton SF Union Square's Community Projects Manager
Thomas Wilmer

In addition to promoting the economic vitality of the City’s hospitality industry, The Hotel Council of San Francisco works continuously to partner with numerous non-profit organizations such as Project Homeless Connect. The recent Stay Green Forum 2016 sponsored by the Hotel Council, was specifically focused on sustainability, energy efficiency, water conservation and much more.

American root musicians, Suzanne and Jim perform at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas
Thomas Wilmer

  

Join the American roots music duo, Suzanne and Jim at the Historic Arkansas Museum in downtown Little Rock. The musical duo came to the museum to do a presentation about historic presidential campaign songs, from the mid 19th century to President Roosevelt’s campaign slogan and song for the 1932 election, Happy Days are Here Again.    

Marissa Lamagna, Founder and CEO of Bay Area Green Tours
Thomas Wilmer

Come along and join Marissa Lamagna as she talks about Bay Area Green Tours where custom planned educational tours showcase the sustainable economy, both urban and rural. Primary mission is to show how people can incorporate responsible social justice in to their personal and professional lives. 

Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum, Honolulu
Bishop Museum

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu on the island of Oahu first opened its doors back in 1891. The museum is Hawaii’s preeminent place to discover and learn about Hawaii and Polynesia’s cultural past. There are also engaging, cool hands-on interactive experiences at the museum’s Science Adventure Center.

San Francisco skyline at sunset
Thomas Wilmer

Join Shawn Rosenmoss, Senior Environmental Specialist with the San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Carbon Fund. The SF Carbon Fund promotes zero waste, renewable energy, enhanced energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, and electric vehicle initiatives. 

USS Arizona December 10th 1941
National Archives and Records Administration

Daniel Martinez, National Park Service Chief Historian at the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Pearl Harbor, Oahu shares his personal odyssey of understanding WWII and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

His lifelong quest of understanding starts in Lone Pine, California and takes him to Japan for a powerful reconciliation ceremony in the mountains of Japan. 

SafeHouse San Francisco offers hope and safe refuge
Arwa Safdari

Jessica Li, Executive Director of SafeHouse in San Francisco talks about the tragic life of homeless prostitutes, often dependent on drug habits, years of abuse, violence, incest, and scorned by family and society.

Li explains how SafeHouse serves as a harbor of refuge. And the women are guided through counseling, nutrition education, money management, computer competency, and vocational guidance classes. 

Michael Bongiorni, President of non-profit SCRAP in San Francisco
SCRAP

When SCRAP was formed 40 years ago, it was America’s first creative reuse center. San Francisco based, SCRAP (Scroungers’ Center for Reusable Art Parts) assists teachers by providing free and low cost supplies. Through donations of reusable art supplies, each year more than 200 tons of materials are diverted from landfills.

Mary Risley (L) founder of Food Runners visits with Jo Licata at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Thomas Wilmer

Ms. Jo Licata spends full-time working with San Francisco’s non-profit organizations in partnerships with the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and numerous other SF hospitality enterprises.

Licata's mission as Hilton's Community Projects Manager is to provide non-profits with essential goods and supplies from food to furniture, mini-fridges and so much more. 

Ann Arbor's elegant restored State Theater
Thomas Wilmer

Join Russ Collins in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an engaging conversation about the city’s passion for cinema and live musical performances.

A keystone in Ann Arbor is the historic circa-1927 grand Michigan Theater in the heart of downtown. When the theater opened on the heels of the silent film era, the Michigan was replete with a symphony pit and a grand Wurlitzer-style organ—it’s fully restored, and the local symphony still performs here.

Classic Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor
Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a visit with Michael Kondziolka, the Director of Programming at UMS, and Marian James, the Executive Director at the Ark—“Where Music Lives”.

The University Musical Society, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan has been presenting a full spectrum of performing arts since 1880. 

B-17 prepares for flight at Yankee Air Museum Yipsilanti, Michigan
Thomas Wilmer

Join Correspondent, Tom Wilmer at Willow Run for a conversation with Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Yankee Air Museum in Yipsilanti, Michigan.

In the depths of WWII, Ford Motor Corporation opened the Willow Run Bomber plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1942 on the outskirts of Detroit. 

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