While I'm not very familiar with Alabama, I've actually never been, I went and did some online digging. Surprisingly, there isn't much in this community about Alabama, other than Mobile. I've found this pretty stellar list that has lots of good road trips through Alabama. Hopefully you find it helpful.
Let me know what you think.
You're very welcome, lucky1 !! I was intrigued as I have never been to the area and wanted to see what I could find out. So I guess I should be thanking you for opening my eyes!! Do keep us updated on your road trip!
Stick with Huntsville. I've been all across northern Alabama. Not much sticks in my memory.Some of the scenery is pretty in the NE around Scottsboro. Florence (NW Alabama) is nice (home of WC Handy). It's right across the river from Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia (home of Helen Keller). A lot depends on your interests.
As for Marriott locations, I didn't care for the CY in Decatur, but the FFI in Oxford was great (especially considering it's only a category 1 property). If you get down as far south as Montgomery, consider staying at the Prattville Marriott. Very nice property.
One other thing to think about in northern Alabama is the possibility of driving part of the Natchez Trace Parkway. It cuts through the NW corner of the state as it winds from Nashville to Natchez. Scenic drive, for sure.
Hope you get some good suggestions.
lucky1 I would recommend Florence, Alabama - quaint little town, home of University North Alabama.
I wrote about our trip there two Memorial Days ago - A Swing Through the South and an off the beaten path Category 5
North Alabama has many interesting sites to visit, but perhaps Huntsville, with its Space & Rocket Center and Redstone Arsenal, is perhaps the most popular town. However, if you're driving toward Memphis on Hwy 72 Alt, you might stop by the Helen Keller Birthplace, south of Florence. SE of Huntsville is Lake Guntersville, and the state park, east of the lake, is a wonderful place for camping, fishing, boating and overnight/weekend stays for family, or group retreats.
Birmingham, more in the center of the state, and the capitol city, and Tuscaloosa, with the University of Alabama ("Coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant" country), might be a interesting visit, especially for "Crimson Tide" fans. And, if you're heading west from there, just outside the city, on Hwy 82, along the Black Warrior River, is the Cypress Inn, a delightful place for lunch.