You've moved to Miami, your work friends don't want to hang out and you're wondering how to find your tribe.
You're not alone. While people often wonder how to make friends in a new city, the fact that new people are always moving in means there are always people who are interested in meeting new people. This is not a town where people hang out with their high school classmates their whole lives. Lots of people are interested in making new friends.
With a little effort, you can find your tribe and build up a thriving social life, whatever your age or interests. Walking around your neighborhood (with or without a dog), visiting a dog park, joining a church or meeting the parents of your kids' friends are all ways to make friends in Miami. But if that's not enough, we have more ideas.
Here are nine ways to meet people and make friends in a new city.
1. Find a Meetup Group
Meetup.com has gatherings for any interest you can think of, from Unitarianism to ukuleles, movies to marathons. There are groups for singles, couples, people of a certain age and everyone together. If you can't find a group you like, you can organize one. The Florida Newcomers Network, based in Hollywood, has 256 members.
2. Join a Group
One way to meet people who share your interests is to look for social groups in Miami focused on those interests. You may be surprised to discover that Miami has a big Ski Club. Lovers of folk music can sing, play and listen with the Folk Club of South Florida. Join fellow bicycle enthusiasts at the monthly Critical Mass bike ride or find a sports team to play on through South Florida Club Sport. Do an Internet search for whatever interests you plus Miami or South Florida to find your people.
Many organizations need volunteers and volunteering is a great way to make new friends in a new city. Hands On Miami is a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities, or approach organizations directly to ask where you can help. If your goal is to make friends, look for opportunities that involve groups of volunteers.
4. Go to Museum Events
Several Miami museums organize evening and weekend events that include both entertainment and networking opportunities. The Perez Art Museum Miami has a monthly Poplife Social that includes entertainment, art and a happy hour. The Wolfsonian Miami Beach has a free guided tour and happy hour most Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami has a free jazz concert and extended gallery hours the last Friday of every month. Many museums also have films and lectures as well as special programs for members.
5. Take a Class
Classes that require participation are a great way to meet people. Many clubs offer free Latin dance classes in the evenings. You can improve your standup comedy skills at Just The Funny or join a fitness class at a gym. Miami Dade College has a whole catalog of noncredit courses for adults.
6. Hear a Talk
One place to find people who are interested in the same things you are is to attend a talk or a panel discussion. Miami's premier independent bookstore, Books & Books, hosts author talks nearly every night at its flagship store in Coral Gables. Most of the museums schedule occasional talks as well.
7. Throw a Dinner Party
When you're moving to Miami, Florida, sometimes you have to take the initiative and organize your own social events. Consider an informal dinner party. Invite anyone interesting you've met since you've arrived and ask them to bring another interesting person or two. Serve pasta and salad, or other easy and inexpensive dishes, so you can focus on the conversation. Ask your guests to bring beer and wine. Collect contact information so you can invite the guests to future dinner parties, encouraging them to bring friends so you can keep widening your social circle.
8. Make Music
If you sing or play an instrument, participating in a chorus or community orchestra is a great way to meet other music lovers. Singers can join the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami, the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale, the Miami Mass Choir (gospel) or a church choir. Other options are the Amazonia Vocal Ensemble (Latin American music), the Miami Gay Men's Chorus (men) and the Gold Coast Show Chorus (women). If you're willing to travel to Fort Lauderdale, you can also join the Master Chorale of South Florida, Nova Singers, South Florida Jubilee Chorus (women only) or the Miamians barbershop chorus (men only). For instrumentalists, community orchestras include the Alhambra Orchestra and the Greater Miami Symphonic Band. You can also participate in informal music jams organized by the Folk Club of South Florida, South Florida Bluegrass Association and the South Florida Center for Percussive Arts.
9. Do Some Business Networking
You could attend a business networking event every night in Miami if you were so inclined. Start with your own professional organizations and then branch out. The Knight Foundation has a twice-monthly business networking breakfast. The foundation collaborates with LivaNinja and Refresh Miami for a weekly Waffle Wednesdays evening networking event. Refresh Miami, which includes everything tech, sends out a newsletter listing events in the technology field. Networking After Work also lists Miami events.