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,, (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. (
  • Vice President (SF) Bay Area Travel Writers (
  • Board of Directors Outdoor Writers Association of California ( 
Tom Wilmer

Honored to be a guest speaker in Don George’s journalism class at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, I seized the opportunity to interview Mr. George after class. Don George wrote the book on travel writing, literally. 

Tom Wilmer

Award winning educator and author, Laurie Woodward speaks with Tom Wilmer about her anti-bullying peace program and books. 

As a peace consultant, she helps educators and parents teach children how to stop bullying, avoid arguments, and maintain healthy friendships.

Tom Wilmer

Broadcast date: 1/14/2015  

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, the Morro Bay National Estuary Program is a non-regulatory, non-profit organization that brings together citizens, non-profits, government agencies, and landowners to protect and restore Morro Bay. 

Tom Wilmer

Travel Correspondent, Tom Wilmer reports from the Heartland of America, where he explores cool things to do and see in North Platte, Nebraska. In my opinion, the heartland of America is Nebraska and the heart of the heartland is the town of North Platte. 

Visits include Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park with Superintendent Jason Tonsfelt. David Fudge, NEBRSAKAland Days’ Executive Director shares a taste of the annual event that includes live music big-stage performances, and the legendary Buffalo Bill Rodeo, proclaimed as America’s oldest rodeo.

Tom Wilmer


Travel Correspondent, Tom Wilmer, takes us to Pacific Grove to visit the Victorian inns open to the public this season.

Tom Wilmer

Founded as a Danish colony more than 100 years ago, Solvang has been a popular year round destination for tourists who come to experience a taste of Denmark right here on the California Central Coast. 

When the Marissa Waddell, the program manager at NPR affiliate, KCBX, told me that Solvang was recently named by Time Magazine as one America’s Most Christmassy towns, well I just had to find out for myself just why this quaint Danish village is in close company with other Most Christmassy contenders such as Santa Claus, Indiana, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. 

Tom Wilmer

Listen to Tom's story here.

Tom Wilmer

Honor Flight’s primary mission is to escort WWII veterans from around the country to visit the iconic war memorials in Washington D.C. The first Honor Flight occurred in May, 2005 when a group of private pilots, at their own expense, flew a handful of Vets to Washington D.C. 

Join Deb Loseke, Director of the Columbus Nebraska Platte County Convention & Visitors Bureau as she shares her insights in to why Columbus’s economic vitality is leading the pack in the Midwest, and we’ll chat with Kim Bean COO of Columbus based Tasty Toppings, manufacturers of the Midwest’s longtime favorite and revered Dorothy Lynch French salad dressing. The Genoa, Nebraska U.S. Industrial Indian School opened in 1884 and operated continuously, until the midst of the Great Depression.

Edwin Grosvenor, the editor of the revered history magazine, American Heritage.  Grosvenor comes by his interest in history naturally – his family founded National Geographic 126 years ago, and ran it for most of the years since. It was Grosvenor’s grandfather Gilbert who explored Yosemite with John Muir and Stephen Mather and subsequently played a key role in establishing the National Park Service almost 100 years ago.

Broadcast date: 9/3/14

KCBX Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer interviews the local chefs behind the artisanal foods to be showcased during this year’s Sunset's Savor the Central Coast.  Learn their secrets for turning fresh, local ingredients into food specialties worthy of this signature California event.

Stewardship Travel

Jul 14, 2014
Wine Coast Country Facebook Page

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the world of ecotourism with a local company that encourages appreciation for places, culture, and adventure, but goes one step further by also providing clear opportunities to participate in regional conservation and preservation.

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with author Steve Callan, whose new book Badges, Bears and Eagles recounts his longtime career as a California State Fish and Game warden.  Tom also chats with Ryan Hansen, a young game warden out of Morro Bay who is inspired by Callan in his own career locally.

Adventures Cross Country

Jun 27, 2014

Travel correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the programs of Adventures Cross-Country, which provides high school students with community service opportunities combined with learning and adventure travel programs to destinations in America and around the world.

Railtown Historic Park

May 30, 2014

Travel correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us to Railtown State Historic Park in Tuolumne County -- home to one of America's last operational railroad roundhouses, plus steam engines, diesel electrics, and scenic railway journeys through the Sierra foothills.

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us on an exploration of Sonora and the surrounding area in Tuolomne County, with its rich history from the Gold Rush era and proximity to Yosemite.

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer talks with Steinbeck expert Dr. Susan Shillinglaw about the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath, and the first public tour of the old Steinbeck family ranch near King City.

National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.  Travel correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us to the home of the Arbor Day Foundation in Nebraska City to learn about this annual celebration of trees, which was born in Nebraska back in the 1870s

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with country music talent agent Ken McMeans, who's going against the grain to run his country music agency from Morro Bay, instead of Nashville or Los Angeles.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us to our nation's newest national park, right here on the Central Coast—The Pinnacles.  Tom explores the western part of the park, near Soledad, with Ranger Lupe Zaragoza.

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.