Everyday conversations: Going to the Jersey shore [audio]

Woman walking down a boardwalk toward a pavilion (Nathan Siemers via Flickr)
(Nathan Siemers via Flickr)

This series of Everyday Conversations is about a family traveling to each of the 50 states in the U.S. Join the family members as they learn about local pastimes and history. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.

The family travels to Cape May, New Jersey, and discusses what to do there.


Paul: That was a long drive down from Maine. I didn’t know we were going to the southern tip of the Jersey shore.

Gina: Cape May is a beautiful place, so it’s worth it. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the beach. We can pack a picnic and spend the entire day there tomorrow.

Claudine: And can we also go to the Cape May historic district? It’s the country’s oldest seaside resort. Plus, it’s the southernmost point in New Jersey.

Paul: That sounds like a great idea. I’ve read that there are a lot of Victorian homes around here, so I’d like to drive around and see some of the architecture — after a couple of days at the beach, that is.

Now let’s review the vocabulary.

The shore is the land immediately along the edge of the sea, a lake or other large body of water.

The southern tip of the Jersey shore is the narrow, south end of the shore.

The Jersey shore is the shore along the Atlantic Ocean in the state of New Jersey.

When something is “worth it,” it is enjoyable or useful even though you had to make an effort. In the conversation, even though there was a long drive, the effort of getting to Cape May is “worth it” because it is so beautiful.

A picnic is a meal that is eaten outdoors, especially on a trip away from home. To pack a picnic means to put the food into containers like an insulated bag so that it can be taken to another place to eat. Often in the U.S., people have picnics at special picnic tables or on blankets that are placed on the ground.

A historic district is a group of buildings or sites that are important because of their history and/or architecture, or the style and design of a building.

A seaside resort is an area, located on the coast, where tourism is a primary part of the culture and economy.

Southernmost means farthest to the south.

The phrase “that is” is used when a person wants to give more details or be more exact about something.

The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily. The American English for Educators Facebook page posts teaching materials for English-language teachers daily.

Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Learn more about planning a trip to the U.S. and applying for a tourist visa.