Wow, lots of great places! The Grand Canyon will probably not make the list this time around, figure that would be a week-long vacation at some point in the future when the time comes to go back to reality.
The Tahoe area is definitely on the list as is a return to the Mammoth Lakes area. Bodie is really cool, Mono Lake (esp with a fiery sunset!) and that whole area including Big Pine/Lone Pine.
Death Valley in winter sound like a good time to go. The Utah parks are on the list, Carlsbad looks like a must see and looks like there are a lot of sights through Arizona.
Big Bend (TX) looks like a cool spot and Hot Springs Arkansas will be along the route.
Rocky Mountain NP looks and sounds awesome but probably will be to far south to get there but its definitely on the list at some point!
The Outer Banks was in October, out out to Oakracoke (sp?) and windsurfing down in that area. Oct was an awesome time to go, everything was cheap the weather was still great and the crowds were minimal.
In Idaho, spent a night in the Sawtooth area and Sun Valley on the way back last year, awesome area! Craters of the Moon is sweet, secluded and not crowded, City of Rocks was cool too.
Devils Tower is quite a sight and a great place to spend a day hiking around. Pictures are awesome with a good sunrise or sunset.
Might try to do the Beartooth Highway from Yellowstone to Cody and hope to time that right in the fall to drive it before it gets snowy or shuts down.
Crater Looks cool, definitely want to try to get there.
For this time around, the Virgin Islands and mot anywhere off shore will be beyond time and budget but maybe the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. Anyone been out there?
Right now the storms in the south east are getting in the way so Shenandoah will probably be the first major stop as soon as the storms blow over. For now just bumming around at a hostel trying to put at least a rough list/route together.