As above, might be there in 2014 with wife, what's it like? What to watch out for? And what's there to do?
Huntsville in general is safe but like most cities of it's size there are some places where crime is most concentrated. North Huntsville in the area bounded by University Dr on the south, Memorial Pkwy on the east, Jordan Ln on the west and Winchester Rd on the north. I would also include the neighborhoods around Patton Rd and Triana Blvd which are just south of I-565 and east of Redstone Arsenal. Of course any of the government housing projects should be avoided especially at night.
The number 1 attraction in Huntsville is the Space and Rocket Center. There's more to Huntsville and the area than that though. Here's a Huntsville tourism link that should help you : http://www.huntsville.org/visitors/play/
Any interest in things to see or do outside of Huntsville?
Thanks for the info, will mainly be in huntsville for few days only, however am interested in any close by sights, national parks etc?
Huntsville is a nice city, and plenty safe in the areas that any tourist would be. The Space and Rocket Center is going to be the main attraction. Monte Sano park has some hiking and a nice view of the city from up on the mountain (small mountain). Cathedral Caverns State Park has a nice cave to tour. It's pretty impressive as caves go. Within a couple hours drive is Chattanooga TN, which has a very nice aquarium, and some Civil War battlefield history around Lookout Mountain. If you can get to Smoky Mountains National Park which is about 4-5 hours drive from Huntsville you should. It's probably my favorite spot in the southeast. The nearby towns (Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge) are very touristy, but inside the park there is great scenic beauty.
What are you and your wife interested in, generally?
Huntsville's main draw is the US Space & Rocket Center and Marshal Space Flight Center; while not as famous as Cape Kennedy or Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, MSFC was and is even today key to America's overall space program.
For nature, I would suggest Monte Santo SP (as described above) in Huntsville, Little River Canyon to the southeast of Huntsville, or Rickwood Caverns to the south.
Birmingham is Alabama's largest city and is about 90 minutes to the south of Huntsville with many attractions of its own.
Best wishes and enjoy your visit to Alabama!