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Last updated: February 27, 2024 • Real Estate Market

From strangers to best friends: US cities where connections are easily made

When moving to a new city, it is challenging to forge new relationships, especially in communities that are not so open to newcomers. If you’re a people person like me and contemplating the idea of moving to a new city, you’ve probably wondered which are the easiest cities to make friends and how to make friends in a new city.

Our social relationships have a massive impact on our well-being and health. On average, Americans have about 5 hours of leisure time, and unfortunately, not much is spent socializing with other people. That could be one of the reasons why many people looking for a friend turn to a pet rather than a new human companion. In that case, you would be better off pampering your pet with home-inspired ideas and forgetting about human interaction. However, if you are a social person, chances are you want more than just a pet friend; you want to share your passions, care and love with your BFF. 

When adulthood hits, it seems that creating connections is no longer as easy as it was when we were college students, and our social circles become smaller. Back then, we could easily find friends with similar interests and spend time with them. We even had friends of friends who would let us crash at their place for the night or help us move. No matter what point in your life, you will always benefit from restocking your bounty of bosom buddies.

On the other hand, even for sociable people, making friends as an adult can be complicated sometimes if you are not in the right place. It is a known fact that some cities in the US provide a more favorable environment for building friendships than others. In 2013, the University of Utah studied social interaction in 42 of the US’s largest metropolitan areas. The study measured how much access strangers in the cities have to one another.

Using that knowledge and data, we have created a comprehensive list of the easiest cities to make friends in the U.S. and provide valuable tips on how to make friends in a new city.

Summary:

How to make new friends in a new city

businessman greeting congratulating

Moving to a new city often feels stressful, especially when having to forge new friendships from scratch. Don’t worry, though – with some effort, you can build new friendships in no time, even in a new city.  

Have a friendly attitude

First, try to be open and approachable. A warm smile can go a long way in making others feel comfortable around you. Don’t hesitate to say “hello” and share a friendly grin. Remember, first impressions matter, and a positive demeanor makes it easier for others to approach you. Reach out to your neighbors, and don’t hesitate to interact with them. You will be more likely to turn the strangers who greet you every morning when you go to work into close friends. 

Participate in different events

Take advantage of the city’s local events, like sporting events, art exhibits, and community fairs. You can meet people interested in the same things you are at these places. If you go to events related to your hobbies, you’ll meet people who share your interests. It’s also a win-win scenario. You get to meet new people and engage in activities you enjoy.  

Join new clubs

Think about joining organizations or clubs that cater to your interests or hobbies. Whether it’s a sports team, reading club, or leisure organization, common interests offer a solid basis for forming relationships. Participating in group activities fosters friendships and provides frequent opportunities for social interaction. 

Volunteer 

Volunteering is a great opportunity to give back to your community and meet nice people. Find volunteer opportunities or activities in your community that suit your interests. Volunteering gives you a feeling of purpose and introduces you to people as dedicated to changing the world as you are.  

Be cautious with online interactions

Be cautious if you’re thinking about making friends online. For security reasons, maintain the privacy of personal information and prioritize public meeting spaces. Although making friends online can be enjoyable, confirming identities and taking measures to protect your security before establishing closer relationships is essential. 

Attend Meetup gatherings

Finally, look for Meetup gatherings in your community. Meetup.com and other websites like it arrange events for people with similar interests, making it simple to locate and get in touch with individuals who share your interests. Come to these events to meet people outside the virtual world who share your interests and widen your social circle.   

Best cities for making new friends

Ever dreamt of wandering through cities that feel like a warm embrace? Well, these places are more than just concrete jungles – they’re like your favorite cozy sweater, comforting and inviting. Picture sharing laughs in local hangouts, connecting with strangers who quickly become buddies, and realizing that these cities have a heartbeat of their own, synchronized with yours. Ready for an adventure where making friends feels as natural as breathing? Let’s explore the best cities for making new friends.

Austin, TX

austin texas sunrise skyline

This quirky Texas city has so many adult meetup groups that it is hard to find a similar place in the US. After-work networking, clubs for stand-up paddleboarding, and running with your dog(s) are just a few of Austin’s offerings. The state motto is “friendship,” and it is easy to understand why creating new connections in Austin TX is so easy.

Because the climate is partly arid, the city offers a lot of outdoor opportunities. It is also one of the reasons why Austin puts so much emphasis on fitness, claiming the fourth spot with the highest concentration of health clubs in the nation. With a thriving culinary scene like the one in Austin TX, going for breakfast taco sampling throughout the city with your friend is a great way to spend your free time.
Making friends in the upscale city of Austin TX is easy, and the environment is ideal for tying new friendships. With the help of real estate agents in Austin TX, you can find a nice place to live in no time and make friends for a lifetime.

Milwaukee, WI

city of milwaukee skyline

With an adult population of about 1.2 million people, Milwaukee WI is definitely a place to live if you want to make friends. Home to four of the largest breweries in the world, including Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. and Pabst Brewing Co., the city is well known for its bar scene. Also, Milwaukee WI ranks high in terms of service clubs, volunteers, and the number of gyms. 

Also known as the Midwestern mecca, people here spend a lot of time in old-fashioned ways. About a third of Wisconsin’s residents volunteer, making it the third-highest number in the nation. Milwaukee is experiencing a downtown revitalization that is boosting the number of bookstores per capita. A great way to spend quality time with your friends is at a book club, and as the Packers season comes around, you can put on your Packer outfit and cheer for your team.

Washington, DC

washington dc spring view

The national capital is everyone’s city. Washington is populated with museums and festivals for all interests. Here you have the opportunity to bond with fellow foodies at the Taste of DC or gather around people passionate about lectures at the National Book Festival. With an adult population of about 4.5 million, making friends in the area is almost inevitable. The city of Washington DC offers endless possibilities to meet new people, create bonds and build lifelong friendships.

The capital was once known as a suit-laden industry town, but the nation’s capital has undergone remarkable transformations over the years. What were once crime-ridden neighborhoods are now overrun with coffee bars, gourmet markets, and a young crowd of people flogging the sidewalks. The city’s population of singles is second to New Orleans, and it holds the third spot in the US for its number of gyms.

With the help of real estate agents in Washington DC you can find a nice neighborhood to fit in and start building new bonds. 

New Orleans, LA

new orleans pubs and bars street

If you are looking for a city where no lifestyle or age limit can’t be accommodated, then New Orleans, LA is the place for you. You will feel right at home as soon as you set foot in the area. The city is buzzing with energy as you come across the beautiful sights and people of New Orleans LA. As you stroll around Jackson Square, you will be greeted by local street artists that sketch to the soundtrack of live jazz musicians. On your way to experience some of the fine cuisines of New Orleans, you can drop a few dollars in an open saxophone case and enjoy the excellent street performance.

Making friends in New Orleans LA is probably the easiest thing you can do. If you find it difficult to make a friend in this thriving city, then we can’t help you. The country’s undisrupted bar capital is rolling day and night. Whether you are coming from work or want to have a night out with friends, you will surely enjoy the thriving nightlife. The city wasn’t nicknamed the Big Easy for no reason, but it’s not all about beignets, bars, and Bourbon Street. Those who feel athletically inclined can engage in various sports from softball, basketball, volleyball, and football at different sports clubs that populate the area.

Not to mention that the universities in New Orleans bring plenty of students to the area, making it a favorable environment for young people who want to create new bonds and make friends. Not to mention that volunteering opportunities can be found at every corner, and the population of New Orleans LA is very open-minded towards volunteering. If you can’t wait to be part of this fantastic community, get in touch with real estate agents in New Orleans LA that can help you relocate in no time.

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Pittsburgh, PA

pittsburgh pa city skyline

With an adult population of about 1.9 million people, Pittsburgh PA is one of the US’s best cities to connect with people. Despite its malfunctioning industries and the decline experienced by its economy in the past years, the city still ranks as one of the US’s friendliest places. With the first-time home buyer programs in Pittsburgh PA, it’s easy for newcomers to become homeowners and integrate into the community as the real estate is experiencing a revitalization.

As Pittsburgh PA is experiencing a postindustrial era, it has become a family-friendly community with plenty of opportunities to create new bonds. Also known as Steel City, the high concentration of libraries, church congregations, and service clubs creates ample context in which you could meet new people. Home to nearly 70 colleges and universities, the student city is perfect for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and friends list.
Even as a first-time homebuyer, you can easily find a new home at an affordable price, if you get in touch with realtors in Pittsburgh PA. Relocating here is easy and making new buddies is even easier.

Charleston, SC

historical downtown of charleston

As the name holder of the most joyous dance steps in history, the city of Charleston SC is probably one of the most amicable and enchanting places in the US. If you ever stroll down Charleston’s streets, you will have the opportunity to wander at the city’s unique architecture and colorful design. The weekly Charleston Farmers Market will greet you with rows of colorful carrots, homemade preserves, and even some fine art. Opportunities to meet locals and get to know the community can be found at every corner, and you can indulge yourself with some treats while you’re at it. 

The economic prosperity in the city of Charleston SC, is noticeable by many people who decide to become part of the community, boosting its year-to-year population growth. The cobblestone streets and the beautiful antebellum architecture are quite a sight, and you will often find yourself walking them to the local brewery to enjoy a good conversation and a golden ale. Have we even mentioned Charleston’s renowned cuisine along with the seemingly endless stretches of sandy beaches?

The laidback lifestyle and the friendly community make the city a great place to bond and meet new people. Even better, the city has plenty of room for new residents, and if you plan to relocate here, get in touch with real estate agents in Charleston SC that can help you find a new home in the area and enjoy a quality lifestyle.

Conclusion

If you find it hard to expand your social circle, you shouldn’t despair. More often than not, the environment prevents people from making friends and consolidating relationships. Finding the right place to relocate is not as simple as finding a real estate agent who can help you buy a home; it has to be a place that allows you to expand your social network and make new friends. Despite being a friendly person myself, I sometimes find it hard to interact with new people. It’s not always easy to break through the initial barriers, as building connections demands genuine effort, time, and vulnerability. 

In my own experiences, I’ve encountered moments of uncertainty and self-doubt, wondering if I’m making the right impression or if my attempts at reaching out are being reciprocated. Living in an open and friendly community makes it all easier. That is why we put together a list of some of the best cities to make new friends and provided some valuable tips on how to forge new relationships. So, step out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to try new things, and take the first step in building a new friendship. 

Do you agree with our list of friendly US cities? What do you think are the best cities to make friends in? Let us know in the comments down below. If you enjoy our content, don’t hesitate to share it on all your social media platforms.

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