Connecting with people outside of your bubble can be tricky and sometimes even seem futile. But don’t turn into a hermit just yet. Nashville offers a variety of ways to make new friends—no apps or awkwardness required.
Meeting likeminded new people is often a cool byproduct of volunteering, and Nashville has tons of opportunities to give back. At Second Harvest Food Bank, you can sort and pack food donations or help with the nonprofit’s special events. The youth-focused Oasis Center welcomes volunteers who want to mentor, nurture and teach new skills. Animal lovers can donate their time to organizations like Nashville Humane Association, Agape Animal Rescue or Proverbs 12:10. And if you’re not sure exactly how you want to help, Hands On Nashville was formed to help locals find meaningful ways to volunteer—you can search for a project that fits your schedule and strengths.
Networking doesn’t always have to be about getting ahead in your career. Cable is Tennessee’s premier leadership organization for women and hosts monthly luncheons and networking and advocacy events. YP Nashville is for young professionals seeking to shape the future of Nashville through local organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, while YEP Nashville has similar goals and is geared toward young professionals in the entertainment industry. And if your alma mater has a Nashville alumni chapter, link up with locals from different generations that you have at least one thing in common with.
Team Green Adventures
Lightning 100’s outdoor adventure group has been around for over two decades—a sign that locals love meeting each other here. The group’s feel-good mission: engaging the Nashville community in an active, sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Team Green organizes nearly 250 events every year, including backpacking, rock climbing, community service projects, stargazing, day hikes and excursions to attractions like Soar Adventure Tower. Annual membership fees start at $35; more info here.
Gyms like GetFit615, Fit Factory, Iron Tribe and CrossFit specialize in group fitness and encourage participants to bond over exercise. Across the river, the East Nasty Running Group not only hosts weekly runs but is also incredibly involved in the East Nashville community, supporting fellow organizations throughout the year.
First Saturday Art Crawl
On the first Saturday of each month, locals of all stripes gather for an evening of free gallery-hopping along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and in the historic Arcade Building downtown. Attend a series of receptions and art openings—and enjoy complimentary wine and refreshments—from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The official mission of the art crawl is to build a more cohesive art community in Nashville, but the atmosphere is so fun and festive that it’s also conducive to making new friends along the way. More info here.
Have a great way to meet new people in Nashville? Let us know in the comments!