Sunday, August 21, 2016

How To Meet People And Make Friends When You Move To Tahoe

A reader commented on my previous "Moving To Tahoe" blog post. He asked a great question about how to meet people when he and wife move to Tahoe. Here are a range of ideas:
One of the best ways to meet like-minded people after you've moved to Tahoe is to join people and groups that do the things you like to do. A good way to find them is to Google the activity along with the words “groups in Tahoe.”

For example, if you are into bicycling, mountain or road,  join one or more of the various mountain or road biking groups:

For hiking, become a volunteer at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association:
We also know of multiple “hiking clubs” that get together and hike every week. Same for ski groups. You can probably find them through Facebook and other social media.
Stop by the shops that sell what you like and ask about groups. I.e., if you love to go out on your kayak or stand-up paddle board, visit the shops that sell them and ask where enthusiasts get together.

For theater, music, and other activities, you can become a volunteer at Valhalla on the South Shore, or at the Tahoe Heritage Foundation, fantastic places to spend time and great resource with the various estates, theater, beach, etc.:

If you love books, we have multiple libraries around the lake. They all have “Friends Of The Library” organizations run by volunteers. For example, when I do library talks and appearances, it is always the local Friends Of The Library group that hosts me, and I’ve met many great people that way.
You can also volunteer at one of Tahoe’s many parks. You will find out that much of the work at these parks is done by retired people who have volunteered.

For sailing check out:

Of course, Tahoe has many, many skiers and snowboarders. Most of them purchase a season pass at their favorite resort. The ski areas have a range of programs you can connect to. All the people we know who ski develop ski friends simply by regularly getting up on the mountain. Other pass holders become familiar faces up on the sundecks, and you can connect to them. Stop in at the ski shops and ask about ski groups.
Like all communities, Tahoe has many service clubs you can join. If you go to the weekly Rotary lunch, you will get to know many people.
Same for churches.
Another excellent way to meet locals who are dedicated to similar interests as yours is to take a class or two at one of the local community colleges. They have hundreds of classes in every conceivable subject area, and many of their classes have a large number of adults. Some of my best friends are people I’ve met in those classes, including people who took a class I taught.

Whether you want to learn new computer skills or painting or photography, you can find it all at community colleges.
On the South Shore, check out the Lake Tahoe Community College:
On the North Shore, check out the Truckee campus of Sierra College:
Or you might consider heading into Reno to the Truckee Meadows Community College:
Sierra Nevada College, our 4-year college in Incline Village also offers continuing education opportunities, where you will also meet people with your interests. Here's the link:

You can also reach beyond Tahoe to make connections that will lead back to Tahoe. For example, many groups in Reno make excursions to Tahoe for their chosen activity. I've seen classes offered through the Reno REI store that bring their sports to Tahoe. Here's the link:

Another great way to get to know any community is to start a small business that serves some aspect of that community, join the Chamber of Commerce, and get involved. If you don’t want to work that hard, you can get a part time job in a local business that serves the community. (If you're retiring, you probably don't want to keep working! But a part-time job appeals to many retired people, and it is a great way to get to know others in the area.)

If you are a musician, Tahoe has as many garage bands as any community. Check out local musicians by visiting the various venues that host local bands. There are quite a few, and you can talk to the musicians during their break or after the performance. And again, the local colleges offer music classes. Your fellow classmates will also be musicians or aspiring musicians.
Tahoe has many active writers. You can find out about writing groups by asking at the local library. If you're on the South Shore, check out the Tahoe Writers Works:

If you golf, stop in at any of the many golf courses and ask the local pro or the person in the shop if they know of anyone looking for someone to join their foursome.

If you are a visual artist of any kind, you can get involved with local arts groups.
On the North Shore, check out North Tahoe Arts:
On the South Shore, check out the Tahoe Art League:

In short, it's very easy to meet people and make friends in Tahoe. Pick your favorite activities, and mix it up with groups of people who like the same things. Before you know it, you'll be invited to beach barbecues and kayak trips to Emerald Bay and mountain bike excursions to the Flume Trail and paint-outs up on the Mt. Rose Highway and book discussions at any of dozens of homes of Tahoe area readers who take turns hosting their book clubs.
You can even start your own group. Use social media to ask for contact from Tahoe-area people who enjoy your activities. With not much effort, you'll have people reaching out to join you.
Have fun!

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