I'm French, never been to the US before. I plan a solo visit to the States later this year and I thought hitting the road would be a crazy cool idea to discover the varieties of landscapes and atmosphere of your country. :)
My starting point would be San Francisco, as I'll most likely arrive to the US to go to the Monterey Jazz Festival, Sept. 20 to 23.
I would then rent a car and starting Sept 24th, just drive across the States. Basically, my preliminary itinerary as it is now would be:
from San Francisco to Las Vegas
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon to Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City to Boulder
Boulder to Rapid City, Wyoming (to see the Devil's Tower)
Rapid City to Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls to Des Moines
Des Moines to Chicago
Chicago to Toledo
Toledo to New Jersey
New Jersey to New York
I would probably have 14 full days to do that, with arrival scheduled at NYC on Oct. 7th, but even if I don't plan any long stay anywhere maybe that's a bit optimistic. Maybe I could push to 16 days, but I'd work with a 14-day plan. A shorter route would be to skip LV and Arizona, and take the I-80 directly from SF to Reno and then Salt Lake City, but it's really somewhat less attractive, since I'd skip two pretty memorable landmarks. I do plan to visit some online friends along the way, if they agree to, that is! ;)
Any advice, help and orders to check myself in a mental institution will be welcome! I'm really looking forward to this.