10 Tips on How to Meet People in L.A. If You’re New to the City of Angels

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Moving to a new place is a daunting experience, especially when it comes to making new friends and creating your own social circle when you don’t really know anyone at the time of your move.  Of all the cities I have personally lived in, this city has proved to be the most challenging place to meet new people. Many would admit that because our city is so spread out it can be problematic just getting around. Plus the traffic is awful enough to actual discourage people from going out and meeting new people or trying new things.

But let’s face it, spending the day on Facebook and Twitter trying to connect doesn’t cut it. Humans are meant to interact on a personal and intimate level.


So how do you make new friends in a city like Los Angeles? I assure you, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And for those of you who have the will, I’ve got a rundown of ideas for you to help get you started.

Check out the list below!

Watching over L.A.
Credit: Mark Mitchell via flickr

1.  Meetup.com

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups.  More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day. And let me tell you, Los Angeles has thousands of groups in your area. MeetUp claims there are over 90,000 meet ups this week alone. You could technically have plans to meet new people each day of the week. And the possibilities are endless, There are hiking groups, singing groups, cooking groups and groups for sports lovers. With MeetUp there is absolutely no way you will not meet new people.

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2. Hiking

Hiking is supposed to be great exercise but there’s more than meets the eye. Los Angeles has tons of places to hike, there’s no excuse to turn down a great hiking experience. Runyon Canyon is supposedly the most popular hiking spot but there are many more scattered throughout Los Angeles. With all those people enjoying nature it’s easy to strike up a conversation or simply say hello. You never know who you might meet. And if you have a dog in tow that’s even better, who can resist saying hello to a furry friend. Check out some of the links below to get you started!

The 9 Easiest Hikes in Los Angeles

The 7 Toughest Hikes in Los Angeles

Sierra Club

213 Hikers

Tree People Hikes

3. Networking Events

If you are involved in a career that requires networking this will be a breeze. But just because you attend an event to network doesn’t mean you can’t connect with people beyond business. In fact, it’s refreshing to encounter people who are genuinely interested in others. Striking up a conversation with people attending a network event is pretty much expected so it won’t be so awkward. In fact, Meetup has a huge after work networking group.

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4. Take a Class

Have you been dying to learn how to knit or play batmitton? There are others out there who would love to learn the same things as you. Remember the days when you made your best friends in school? It still works! There are so many opportunities to enjoy learning in the city. Not only can you take classes at the local college but your local YMCA and local gyms offer classes too. A few ideas to ponder are Improv for the People to learn the basics of Improv or if you are interested in learning a new language try the Pasadena Language Center. For the foodies out there Hipcooks would be an awesome choice for your culinary skills. Not only will you learn a new skill or hobby but you will definitely connect with others in your class. Who knows, you may meet a new friend.

Hipcooks Class
A Hipcooks class can be a great way to meet new folks who love food.

5. Go to the Gym

There are two opinions about meeting people at the gym. For hardcore gym rats the gym is for getting it in, drinking your post workout shake and hitting the showers. But if you want to meet people there are tons of opportunities. The gym is generally a positive environment with people trying to better themselves. So it is ripe with opportunities to strike up a conversation with the person on the treadmill next to you. And if you don’t connect at least you will get into awesome shape! CrossFit is one of the more popular fitness trends that encourages fellowship amongst members.

6. Lock N Key Events and Speed Dating

For singles out there dating isn’t all about finding your future mate. There are people to meet along the way to connect with. Lock N Key events are great because while you are looking for the person with the key to your lock you end up chatting with everyone at the event. Even if you don’t end up with a match, you are bound to meet people to connect with. Likewise with Speed Dating, before and after the event there are opportunities to connect with others.

7. Do Regular Stuff

Going to the grocery store or doing laundry is not glamourous but it is something everyone needs to do from time to time. How about going to a different grocery store this week? While you’re there grab the free food samples that most stores offer and talk to others about how good the food is. Or perhaps instead of getting drinks at a bar near your home, venture out to another part of town and meet new friends! There’s also some incredible independent bookstores in Los Angeles where you might strike up a conversation while taking in a free event.


Last Bookstore Performance
A special presentation by Roz Hefland at the Last Bookstore brings folks together. Credit: Melissa Wall via flickr

8. Volunteer

In a previous post we mentioned a bunch of volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles, and as it turns out, volunteering is not just a great way to give back to the city, but you also meets lots of new like-minded people at the same time. It’s very natural to gravitate towards others when you are attempting to make our city a better place to live in. Volunteering bonds people, especially when you are in challenging environments and situations. Working together for a common cause unites humans and can result in lasting friendships.

9. Explore

For natives and newbies alike, there is always something new to explore. It’s very tempting to stay in our own hood since each of our cities have so much to offer. But what if you decided to take a day trip to Santa Clarita in the north or San Pedro in the south? There are plenty of festivals and activities that tons of people flock to. Visiting local museums (especially the free ones) in each city is another way to connect as well. Go out and explore, you are bound to meet people you would not meet by staying in your own neck of the woods. And if you need more ideas on what to do, here’s a massive A-Z list of stuff to do in Los Angeles.

10. We Like L.A.

This is a shameless plug but honestly, this is an awesome way to meet people. We have already had two group hikes, our last one in October, and there are more activities on the horizon. Since everyone is pretty much like minded in our deep like for Los Angeles, it’s a sure thing to have something in common with the fellow angelenos that follow We Like L.A.

We Like L.A. Group Photo at Hollywood SIgn
photo credit: Alberto Aguilar

Although we offered a few suggestions, there’s always lots of great ways to meet people in Los Angeles. Let us know your favorites in the  comments below!


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