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) 

Ziplining in Kauai

Feb 5, 2014

Travel correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us on a trip to the island of Kauai for a Zipline adventure in the mountains above Poipu on the South Shore. Then he saddles up for trail ride along the seashore.

Local author Gary Williams has a new book out that recounts his adventures as a horse and dog trainer, and contract cowboy. Marisa Waddell talks with him about the valuable lessons he's learned along the way.

Also, Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us to the north side of Omaha, Nebraska, a hub of American jazz and blues since the 1920s, where he visits Love's Jazz and Art Center.

Travel correspondent, Tom Wilmer visits a new museum scheduled to open this summer. He talks with Dr. Jessica Turner, Director and Chief Curator at the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee. The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, dedicated to telling the story of the musical and cultural heritage of the region, its role in the birth and development of country music, and its influence on music around the world.

  • Correspondent, Tom Wilmer explores the history of Laetitia Winery, celebrating its 30th anniversary.  Laetitia was started as Maison Deutz, by a champagne house from France. Today the winery continues the French tradition of methode champenoise, plus has become a premier pinot noir producer in California.
  • Then Tom takes us on a Christmas train trip around the country, riding the Polar Express through the Verde Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Branson Scenic Railways.

  • Correspondent, Tom Wilmer visits with Walter Heath about the Morro Bay In Bloom volunteer project. The program is founded on the concept that a small group of people applying 2 hours of effort every week can make a positive difference in their community. Morro Bay in Bloom is undertaking civic beautification projects and completing them in several two-hour sessions.

Marisa Waddell

  • Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with the owners of Olea Farm in Templeton, to learn about California's distinctive olive oils.  We'll learn what the term "extra-virgin, first press" really means, and what some of the differences are between European and California olive oils.
  • Also, it is estimated that 10 to 40 million parrots live in the United States as pets.

Issues & Ideas: air date 11-13-2013

Nov 13, 2013
Tom Wilmer

Hear a conversation about John Steinbeck's life in the Salinas Valley with correspondent Tom Wilmer, as he visits the Steinbeck Center.

Then head with Tom over to Elkhorn Slough to learn about the birds and sea life there, and to discover the kayaking and whale watching opportunities in the area.

Issues & Ideas: air date 10-23-2013

Oct 23, 2013

  • Fifty-six years ago nine black children attempted to start classes at the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. They were blocked by the national guard, on orders from the state's governor, until President Eisenhower placed the guard under federal command, and ensured those children would be escorted into the school. That was just the beginning of a long and arduous ordeal for the Little Rock Nine.

Marisa Waddell

Whether it's an owl, a deer or even a possum in distress, Pacific Wildlife Care is there to help. The group is dedicated to rehabilitating wildlife, and returning orphaned and injured animals back to their natural habitat. Marisa Waddell talks with Pacific Wildlife Care about how they help animals on the Central Coast.

  • There's a conference coming this month that will feature social, scientific, and environmental innovators from many disciplines to share breakthrough solutions to environmental, scientific and social challenges. It's the Central Coast Bioneers Conference, coming at the end of October.

  • Alzheimer's Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and more than 5-million Americans are living with the disease. Marisa Waddell talks with two experts about the disease, its warning signs, and what resources are available if you or a loved one has Alzheimer's.
  • Also, there's an agriculture company in Salinas known as "Andy Boy," named after a toddler in the 1920's who is now 89 years old. Andrew D'Arrigo's family is credited with introducing broccoli and green celery as a commercial crop to America.

  • September is National Preparedness Month. Marisa Waddell talks with local Red Cross Executive Director Loren Avila about what we can do in our own homes and businesses to be ready for emergencies and disasters.
  • A best-kept-secret on the Central Coast is King City's San Lorenzo County Park. Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer for a visit with Jessica Potts, Executive Director of the park's Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum.

Marisa Waddell talks with young author, Dori Stone, about her new novel, Growing Home, and her vision for a rural community farm and urban garden center on the Central Coast. Dori has been named Author of the Year by Common Ground Worldwide.

Also, Travel Correspondent, Tom Wilmer, gets tips from third generation Californian Leslie Westbrook, whose latest book is the Insider's Guide to Santa Barbara.

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