The Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor Winter Weekend Getaway

Michigan may not be the first place you think about for a winter getaway, but a recent trip to Ann Arbor was on tap for our daughter to interview for the University of Michigan’s undergraduate theatre design and production program. As a winter storm bore down on us, we snuggled in to the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, checked out the campus, dined, and even squeezed a cultural activity into the mix. Continue reading for more on our winter weekend college getaway to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan Main Street in January 2019, photo by Dave Parfitt

We were hosted by the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, and it was a fortuitous refuge from the winter storm that pummeled the east coast. Outside the temperature was frigid, dropping to 1 degree fahrenheit, and who knows what the wind chill was. Inside the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, we were protected from the storm and warmed with hot cocoa by the fire.

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, MI, photo by Dave Parfitt

The hotel was filled with youth hockey boys from across the midwest, in town for a local tournament. The only room left at the Inn had a single king bed, but the accommodating staff set up a rollaway bed for us so my 18 year old daughter and I did not have to share the bed. The room was large, clean, and comfortable, and filled with artwork of the University of Michigan. With “Go Blue!” signs throughout, my daughter and I were fully immersed in the college spirit.

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

King room Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, MI, photo by Dave Parfitt

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

King room Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, MI, photo by Dave Parfitt

I was really suprised by the facilities of the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, not expecting a large indoor pool area complete with a splashground play area for the kids. Such a great way for kids to burn off energy on a winter day or after a long car ride.

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Pool and splashground at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, photo by Dave Parfitt

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Pool and splashground at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, photo by Dave Parfitt

There’s also a full-service fitness center available with free wieghts and cardio equipment.

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Fitness center at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, photo by Dave Parfitt

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Fitness center at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, photo by Dave Parfitt

Each morning the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, puts out a full hot breakfast complete with pancackes, waffles, French toast, and cooked-to-order omelettes. It’s not a complimentary breakfast, but at $12.95 for all you care to eat, it was a great way to start the day.

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, MI, photo by Dave Parfitt

Besides the all-day college interview for my daughter, I was able to show her some of Mom & Dad’s old haunts in Ann Arbor. I attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, and during my time in Ann Arbor, got married, earned my PhD, and we had our first child. We strolled through the stores in the 100+ year old Nickels Arcade; she loved the antique store, the cigar shop not-so-much.

Nickels Arcade Ann Arbor

Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor, MI, photo by Dave Parfitt

Each evening, we took advantage of Ann Arbor Restaurant Week. Ann Arbor has a fantastic food scene, and was recently voted as one of the 20 best college towns for food in America. I was surprised how many restaurants we enjoyed in the late 90’s were still around. We went to Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub for shepherd’s pie the first night, Prickly Pear Southwest Cafe on the second, and enjoyed 2-for-1 meals at both thanks to Ann Arbor Restaurant Week.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Restaurants on Main Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 2019, photo by Dave Parfitt

In addition to the University of Michigan, there are so many activities around Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan including a world-class museum 45 minutes away in Dearborn. As the winter storm dumped lake-effect snow on the corridor between Cleveland, OH and Buffalo, NY, we stuck around an extra day to check out The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. I’ll have more on this inspiring museum in a future post.

The Henry Ford Museum

1952 Wienermobile at The Henry Ford Museum, photo by Dave Parfitt

While we were in town for a specific purpose – “the Interview,” Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, the college town vibe, and the Henry Ford Museum made for a great winter weekend getaway. Thanks to the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor for shelter from the storm and a fantastic home away from home. Go Blue!

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor

Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor, MI, photo by Dave Parfitt

DISCLOSURE: Dave Parfitt was hosted and received complimentary accommodations for two nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Ann Arbor.  However, all opinions expressed are those of the author.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.