It can be difficult to meet people with similar interests, especially if you have just moved to a new town and you are unfamiliar with the area. A number of things including networking with local clubs and checking bulletin boards can help you on your quest to meet people, but you should be prepared to do some footwork. Especially if you are living in a new place, it is a good idea to take some time to wander around the town, become familiar with the layout, and perhaps spot some places of interest such as clubs, restaurants, and coffeehouses where you might meet people.
One of the best ways to meet people is to join a club or organization. If you have just moved, you can see if there is a local chapter of an organization which you belonged to at your former residence; if no local chapter exists, starting one can be a good way to meet people. Otherwise, you can use the Internet to search for your town and a topic of interest, such as knitting, birding, or reading. Many towns have a listing of local clubs on civic websites, and some clubs also have websites with contact and meeting information. By attending a group event dedicated to something you are interested in, you are likely to meet people who share that interest.
Cafes and coffee shops are also good places to meet people. The atmosphere tends to be more congenial and leisurely than a bar or restaurant, and you may be able to spot someone reading a book that looks interesting, or with a friendly face. Many of these establishments also have a bulletin board where you can look up local event listings, or post notices of your own. If you are the shy type, sitting and reading a book for a few hours is still an excellent way to relax, and someone might be interested enough in your book to approach you.
Attending local events such as talks, musical performances, art openings, and movie screenings is another way to meet people. Listings for events can be found on the Internet, in local newspapers, and on bulletin boards at event centers and local businesses. In addition to learning more about the cultural interests of the area, you may also find people at the event to befriend.
The Internet is also an excellent resource for meeting people. If you are looking for a date, many regions have dating websites, such as craigslist, or you can use a nationally based website which covers your area. If you are just looking for friends, people to golf with, or someone to start a book club, some websites provide community bulletin boards or space for “strictly platonic” advertisements. When meeting new friends from the Internet, try to arrange to meet them in a public, well lit place such as a coffeehouse for the first time, for safety's sake.