So that you will be south of Birmingham when you start out the next morning, look at places in Pelham. Exit 246 is Cahaba Valley Road or Hwy 119. There are lots of places at that exit to choose from - Best Western, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn & Suites and a couple more that I can't think of right now. There are lots of food options in the area, and it is safe.
Previous answer is a good one if you're in a hurry. If you have some time to play, you might try the Hampton Inn near Barber Motorsports Park, if you can spare two or three hours the following morning. It's across the street from the racetrack and the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which is worth some time. That's across town from I-65, though. Maybe 15 miles out of your way.
If you want to hit the restaurants, Hotel Highland at Five Points South is OK. It's about a mile from I-65. You'll have to valet your car and dodge a few panhandlers, but there are great restaurants within blocks and it's safe, despite what people from the burbs might say.
Last year we did the same route and stayed at the Hyatt Place, it was a great location. We swam for a bit and then went to Longhorn and had dinner and it was great. Very safe area located in a business park area.
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