Want to meet people in San Francisco, California, and start making friends? This article is for you. The city where the Golden Gates welcome all is rich in both history and diversity, this unique city has no shortage of opportunities to find your “tribe” and make some lasting friendships.
Where & How To Meet People In San Francisco & Start Making Friends
1. Most Popular Meetup Groups
Here are a few of San Francisco’s most popular meetup groups:
- I wanted to do that…Just not alone!
- Urban Hiking & Happy Hour (& random urban adventures)
- Bay Area Beer Socials
Find more of your favorite meetup opportunities here: https://www.meetup.com/cities/us/ca/san_francisco/
2. Join an Athletic League
San Francisco is into adult sports leagues. Whether or not you’re any good at soccer or softball, joining a team is an easy and quick way to make fast friends. ZogSports is a social sports community that offers myriad opportunities to find a league that fits your fancy, helping you make connections along the way.
3. Feed the Hungry, Make Some Friends
GLIDE’s Feed the Hungry program is the only one in San Francisco to provide 3 nutritious meals a day, 364 days a year, to the city’s poor, homeless and hungry. Serving a meal as a volunteer is a transformative experience. This program requires 85 volunteers each day to fill the breakfast, prep, lunch and dinner shifts, 364 days a year. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves, meet people, and start making friends in San Francisco.
4. Try Your Hand at College
SFCC classes are cheap and eclectic, which is an ideal combination when it comes to striking up a conversation with a potential friend. You can test out classes like self-defense or ceramics and find like-minded and creative souls to study with.
5. Help Preserve the Golden Gate
Kick back and experience your national park sites in an exclusive way! Join FOGG on the first Thursday of every month as they meet new friends, sip on local beer courtesy of Fort Point Beer Co., and learn about the uniqueness of the park with a ranger or REI staff-led activity. Enjoy small eats and fresh air at a different park site every month, all while admiring the Bay Area’s most breathtaking views.
6. Psychedelic Cycling
The most cult-like workout class in San Francisco, SoulCycle is 45 minutes of spinning set to dance music in a dark, packed room. The bikes are close together, so if you’re not afraid to sweat dangerously close to your neighbor, grab a bike and get ready to work.
7. Board the Magic Bus
The Magic Bus is an entirely one-of-a-kind experience. This magical tour bus transforms into a traveling movie theater, light show and rocket ship while showing you the San Francisco of yesterday and today. What a unique way to mingle with groovy new friends.
8. Jump Into New Friendships!
House of Air is an indoor Adrenaline Park. This athletic and recreational facility hosts open trampoline jump time, aerial and physical training on trampolines, trampoline dodgeball, fitness classes and other recreation activities. Forget the gym where everyone is buried in their iPod… take a fun class and meet other adventurous souls.
9. Cruise for Your Dinner
All aboard… enjoy a sophisticated fun evening on the San Francisco Bay. Various small plate food stations and tasty desserts make the Supper Club Cruise perfect for meeting new friends. Local DJs spin Top-40 hits, or you can always step outside to take in the breathtaking views of San Francisco and enjoy conversation with potential cohorts.
10. Try a Season of Running
Join fitness-minded folks downtown, in Golden Gate Park or in the Marina for workouts, boot camps, and running. You can try it out by signing up for one season at a time. The SF Run Club meets at the store, A Runner’s Mind, in Presidio Heights on weekend mornings, providing a perfect opportunity for socializing before hitting the pavement. This is another way to meet people in San Francisco, and it’s a way to mix a healthy activity with making friends.
11. Trivia Pub Nights
The Irish-born founder of Brainstormer.com brought the tradition of trivia pub nights to the Bay Area. They now draw lively crowds on various weeknights in San Francisco venues. Questions are a perfect mix of pop culture, sports trivia, Shakespeare, general knowledge, current affairs, and more. You can create a profile online to connect with other quizzers to start, but the magic is in the meet ups – form a team or join one and put your useless knowledge to work.
12. Everyone is Welcome at the Jewish Community Center
From art to zen meditation, the Jewish Community Center offers a wide variety of instructor-led adult classes, fitness, and sports leagues throughout the year. Sign up to learn Spanish, urban gardening, dancing, pilates, aquatics, ceramics, or even take a group overnight trip to a cultural event. What a nice way to meet people in San Francisco! To guarantee meeting others, why not volunteer as an usher to assist JCCSF staff with the greeting and seating of guests before an event and during intermission before you enjoy the program.
13. There’s an App for That
Hey! VINA is an app that operates a lot like Tinder, but is aimed at meeting people in San Francisco (it’s only for women, but that might change as is the case with many apps). It’s for other females who share the same interests, and who have compatible personalities. The founders said they started building the app because of a personal pain point. They often moved and traveled for work and wanted a better way to meet new girlfriends in the area. Apps and online friendships can be a great starting point, as long as it leads to real-life activities, which simply can’t be substituted in the virtual world.
14. Wine Country Tour with Gourmet Lunch
Although touted as a tourist event with hotel pick up, a wine country tour is also a great way to spend the day with strangers and end up with friends. Combine a visit to Northern California wine country with a Muir Woods experience for a truly fabulous day out. You’ll begin with a walk through Muir Woods National Monument, visit three wineries, with wine-tasting included, and cross the Golden Gate Bridge, ending on Sonoma Plaza to buy lunch with your new posse.
15. Paint and Play
Beyond Canvas offers a variety of fun and exciting painting classes for adults. Options include trendy paint and wine classes, plein air classes conducted in a variety of outdoor environments and abstract painting classes. Dare to be unique and flex your creative muscle with some potential new friends.
16. Snap Your Way to New Friends
The Harvey Milk Photo Center is San Francisco’s premier dark room and digital facility. As part of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, it is open to members and the community. Meet people in San Francisco and make some new friends. You can do that while attending photography lectures, and exhibitions. In addition, there is also a wide variety of digital and film classes for all skill levels.
17. That’s How We Roll (Sushi, that is)
Experience a sushi making class! Learn the basics of making your own rolls and nigiri, as well as some unique creations. Among them, the Lion King Roll and the Valentine’s Day Roll. You can start by learning to simply cut fish for nigiri to setting up beautiful plates. As a result, you’ll get one step closer to becoming a sushi master, meeting some new people while you learn. Because there is rarely an easier way to make friends than a cooking class, we really recommend you check this out.
18. People Watching on Hippie Hill
Hippie Hill is an interesting place to enjoy the sights and sounds of a sunny day at the Golden Gate Park,. The colorful cast of characters l is never-ending, and there is something somewhat magical about visiting a place that at one time attracted the likes of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Spark up a conversation with some eclectic new friends. On the weekends, drum circles commonly happen, and that’s another great way to meet people in San Francisco.
19. Travel Through Time at The Penny Arcade
Musée Mécanique is one of the world’s largest privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition. Located on Pier 45 at the foot of Taylor Street in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, you can meet new friends while enjoying a journey from turn of the century hand cranked music boxes to modern video arcade games. Yes, you can actually play the games!
20. Tee Time
The San Francisco Parks & Rec maintains a sterling array of six public golf courses. Golden Gate Park is perfect for the beginning golfer, Sharp Park and Lincoln Park boast panoramic views, and Gleneagles is considered one of the most challenging nine holes of golf in America. With a course for every player, it’s easy to meet other golf enthusiasts no matter what your skill level is.
It might seem overwhelming to meet people in San Francisco, and find the right friends. What you can do is focus on the niches and the sub-cultures you’re more likely to find the people with whom you can get along and hopefully keep for the long run. If you want to be equipped by the right techniques, social skills, and principles to help accelerate your social life, we invite you to check out our trainings.