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) 
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.

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. 

grape vines on the arbor at Heartstone & South River Highlands Retreat Center
Thomas Wilmer

Nestled in the hills of Shenandoah Valley, the South River Highlands Country Retreat and Heartstone Lodge & Retreat Center are just four miles from Lexington, Virginia and two hours from Washington D.C. Tranquility and clarity of mind envelops this 250-acre rural hideaway. 

Sunset vista from Parc 55 in downtown San Francisco's Union Square neighborhood
Thomas Wilmer

From San Francisco to San Diego, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has created the California Road Trip. Eight coastal Hilton Hotels are offering amenity incentives for the traveler such as unlimited Cable Car rides in San Francisco, and 2-for-1 trolley passes at Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara. 

George C. Marshall Museum on VMI Campus Lexington, Virginia
Thomas Wilmer

Rockbridge County Virginia is steeped in history--a drive down Lexington’s main street is like stepping back in time—so much so that Hollywood has utilized downtown as a movie set for Revolutionary War, and Civil War era films. They just move the cars out and top up the roadways with dirt and they’re ready to roll.

atop the Hilton at Cityscape bar--definitely a room with a view
Thomas Wilmer

The landscape of travel is evolving and hotels and resorts are responding to the demand for meaningful travel experiences, by individuals on holiday and corporate meeting and event planners. The Hilton San Francisco Union Square incorporates mindful meetings, mindful eating, mindful being as well as engaging guests with local non-profit opportunities.  

Entrance to Dancing Bear Lodge
Dancing Bear Lodge

A conversation with Sharon and Mark Oldham, owners of Dancing Bear Lodge situated in the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. Dancing Bear features 26 rustic but elegant lodge-style accommodations, an event center where live musical performances feature regional artists, and the award-winning Appalachian Bistro. We’ll also visit with the Bistro’s star-chef Shelly Cooper.

6th generation Danny Ray Carver's family has been growing apples in Eastern Tennessee since the late 1700's
Thomas Wilmer

Danny Ray Carver’s dad started Carver’s Orchard in Cosby, Tennessee back in 1942, but the Carver clan has been growing apples in Appalachia for six generations, arriving in Eastern Tennessee in the late 1700’s. 

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. 

Sugarland Cellars in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Jonathan Ball with the Rocky Top Wine Trail in Eastern Tennessee talks about the trail that includes wineries in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg

Sugarlands Distillery

Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg, Tennessee uses traditional corn and rye, but infuses their “Shine” with an array of flavors, including dark chocolate, butter pecan, and apple bacon. A conversation with Kris “Tugboat”  Killingsworth, Tastings Manager at Sugarlands about the trendy new world of Shine.

Tennessee Whiskey Trail

The new Tennessee Whiskey Trail is made up of approximately 30 distilleries across the state. Tennessee distilleries range from small, boutique operations such as Corsair and Greenbrier in Nashville to legendary distilleries like Jack Daniels.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer accompanies Robin Tierney onstage at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium, revered as the “Mother Church” of country music, has been an anchor of the Nashville music scene for more than a century. The Country Music Hall of Fame in NashvilleTennessee is the Mother Ship where the entire history of country music is showcased in the 360,000 square-foot multi-story facility.

Franciscan Frontiersman book cover
University of Oklahoma Press

Cayucos resident Robert Kittle talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about his new book Franciscan Frontiersmen—how Three Adventurers Charted the West, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Sugarlands Winery in downtown Gatlinburg
Thomas Wilmer

An overview of cool things to do and see in and around Gatlinburg, Tennessee--the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hornblower Cruises M.V. Entertainer Marina del Ray
Thomas Wilmer

Marina del Rey in LA County is one of the largest man made marinas in the world. It’s the home of multi-million dollar luxury yachts to a flotilla of sailboats and powerboats, and funky live-aboards.

Hollywood and its stars have maintained a love affair with Marina del Rey for decades, not only to sip and savor and hide out--but to utilize the locale as a film location for untold movies and TV shows.

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