Rt. 66, Rio Grande Blvd - from end to end, a trip up to the crest or at least to the tram to see a grand view of the city. But you know, Barelas Babe, just a 3 hour stop at The Frontier would give your friend a real taste of Burque! The sight seeing in there is always something to remember!
Ah nice -- yes, the 3 hour layover presents an interesting challenge with the time constraint! Love the suggestion of heading to the Frontier and letting Albuquerque parade by.
the Bart Prince house on Monte Vista!
First, go out west on I-40 past the point where the city is visible, then turn around and come back. Watch the whole city open up before you, from airport to past the North Valley, from the far west side to the Sandia Crest. It really is a magnificent site. Then come down Central and stop at either the Dog House or the Frontier for something to eat. Visit the Ernie Pyle Library at 900 Girard SE, take a ride through Nob Hill and then double back to see the Bart Prince House. Double back on Lomas to Frontage Road and go up to Menaul and then east on Menaul, which, along with Montgomery and Central, is one of our three great east-west shopping corridors. Take a little detour down to Uptown if you like. Go east to Tramway, then up to Montgomery and down that shopping corridor to San Mateo, then turn north and go up to I-25. Then, back to the airport, stopping along the way on all this tour, of course, at any store your guest wants to explore.
Move toward Old Town as principal destination by exiting I-25 at Cesar Chavez. Weave through Barelas to show area's ambiance. Brisk walk in area of zoo/beach/river to work out airplane kinks.Beat it to Old Town, shopping until pre-ordered meal ready at restaurant of your and/or guest's choice. Take in one nearby museum matching guests' interest. Pick the highest available downtown building with 360 views, and provide short talk on viewshed, i.e.volcanoes, Sandias, Mount Taylor, Ladron Peak to the distant south, Rio Grande. Ten minutes max. Head to UNM for remainder of available time, selecting stop at an area of maximum interest to visitor.Return to Sunport, detouring so you can go past the Pit. The entire route should be run about three days before the visit and (important) at the same time the visit will take place to work out trouble spots, including ordering meal in advance, checking out elevators, looking for construction snafus. Pick up and read brochures so you are prepared, walk UNM campus target area(s), pre-arrange parking, etc..(Alternative to meal to save time. Have one ready, catered or cooked, in su casa, if you live in the vicinity or have picnic lunch ready.)
So what did you end up doing?
I did the tour down Central -- headed west, then east. Stopped at the Rio Grande bridge,detoured down Tingley (and through Barelas/downtown to Old Town for ice cream, Nob Hill for drinks and picnic fixin's at La Montanita, and turned on Tramway to head to Elena Gallegos to eat and to look down on the city as the sun set... then a quick rush back to the airport!
Thanks again everyone for the wonderful ideas!