FOR the Clarence Valley's young adults, it may seem their hang-out destinations are limited to the footy field and the pub.

But Jimm Woodley grew up in Grafton and you'll find the 20-year-old on the stages of the Pelican Playhouse and Criterion Theatre or heading up trivia nights at the Village Green Hotel.

He believes it may take a bit of digging, but the Clarence Valley has hidden, surprising gems.

"I think sometimes it (the feeling there is nothing to do) can be attitude - other times it can be they see Grafton for what it has been known for," he said.

The attitude among many people in their 20s is one of desperation, and for some loneliness, searching for a space to make new connections if you are new in town, or having to goodbye to school mates as they move away.

Anytime Fitness co-owner Kathryn Langford said young adults with such a mindset often walked through the doors.

"They can come in quite lost," she said.

Jenny Ryder of Anytime Fitness with (l-r) Taine Hunter-Smith from Sustaine Fitness, Liz Weatherstone of Grafton Lifestyle Centre, Kathryn Langford of Anytime Fitness, Jo Powell of Jetts Fitness, Carly Sinclair and Anthony Sinclair of Oneup Fitness. Gyms are a huge part of social culture in the Valley.
Jenny Ryder of Anytime Fitness with (l-r) Taine Hunter-Smith from Sustaine Fitness, Liz Weatherstone of Grafton Lifestyle Centre, Kathryn Langford of Anytime Fitness, Jo Powell of Jetts Fitness, Carly Sinclair and Anthony Sinclair of Oneup Fitness. Gyms are a huge part of social culture in the Valley. Adam Hourigan

Ms Langford said joining classes was a great way to meet people and she would match individuals to be workout buddies as a way to foster friendships or welcome someone to the area.

"That's one of the benefits of knowing all our clients so well - we know who would fit well with each other," she said.

FUTURE CV: Will South Grafton be the Newtown of the Clarence?

Heart and Soul Wholefood Cafe is a piece of Instagram gold on Prince St, created by Rachael Koning and Shelley Kirke six years ago.

"We wanted to create an experience cafe where you could follow us on Instagram, but also come and walk through the doors to relax and get away from it all," Ms Koning said.

In the past two years the women have expanded to create a hole-in-the-wall operation on Skinner St, South Grafton and recently started a tapas bar on Friday nights.

"That's a great thing for young people. It's not like going to a pub or a club, and that's not to put those down. It's just a different environment to steal away from the everyday," she said.



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