Hi welcome to the forum. Sounds like a great trip. You didn't say exactly what you and your wife wanted to see and do so I will just tell you a few things to think about.
For your trip you should know that it can still be quite cold in the South east in Jan/Feb time frame until you get well into Florida. It will not be very green (trees and plants) that early again I am just saying this so you know not to discourage you in any way.
That said there are many things to see and do on your trip but I too will echo that the US is huge when it come to driving. I used to work at Porsche Cars in Georgia and a few times engineers would come from Germany thinking they were going to drive coast to coast and bad and by the time they got to California they would leave the car and fly back to Germany.
http://goeurope.about.com/od/europeanma ... on-map.htm
While you are on the east coast you might try Savannah/Tybee Island area (AKA a drinking town with a fishing problem) area as it is kind of interesting there. Remember it may be cool to cold that time of year.
http://voices.yahoo.com/the-top-20-plac ... 60665.html
I would avoid the Atlanta area unless you really want to see something specific there.
Driving to Texas around the Gulf Coast (we don't call that one bay for some reason) there are many things to see and do.
New Orleans is worthy of a visit.
Texas is really its own country and very very large 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2)
There are many things do see and do there and the landscape changes as you go from one side to the other.
In the southwest it will start being much warmer. New Mexico is really beautiful I think. Arizona can be too but not everywhere. Once you get to California it is really populated and the roads are in mostly poor condition and the traffic can be really heavy and slow. The Parks are incredibly beautiful and you should see as many as you can. The coast highway drives 1 and 101 while a bit commercial and slow moving are a great way to see some amazing shoreline. And the Tahoe area is truly amazing.
From there depending on how long it takes you to get out there and how long you stay you could drive North to Oregon and take US route 20 all the way back to the North East. It is one of the longest roads in the US and it goes coast to coast starting in Newport ,OR and the road ends in the Boston, MA area.
Some basic things you might like to see are but there are so many.
The Grand Canyon
Yosemite (plus the ones yvrr said)
The Blue Ridge Mountains (and the others that 86Scotty said)
The Finger Lakes Region of NY (summer or early fall)
The Adirondack Mountains (summer or early fall amazing fall foliage)
Boston and New York City (since you mentioned it) Although Driving can be tough like any big city here. San Francisco is OK but can be cold and foggy in the summer.
Washington DC and the Smithsonian Museum
So as you firm up your trip keep us in mind and ask questions.
There are so many good people on this forum and they have a lot of travel tips and ideas.