The quickest way to become familiar with a new town and get to know the top sites is a guided bus tour. No kidding, I use this method when I have never been to a place before. You can get the layout of the town and the big picture while someone else does the driving and you do the looking. When you are not distracted by what direction to go in you have a chance to look for your own discoveries.
Tours usually leave or stop at the big hotels. Go to one of the name brand large hotels. See the concierge and ask about the available bus tours of town. Choose a tour that is a drive by without the stops for a quick browse. After you have become a little familiar with a new town it is easier to pick out what you want to know more about. You can return to what interests you.
Look for what the guide does not point out or says little about while you consider what you want to return to so you can fill in the blanks. Take notes of your first impressions while touring the town so you will have an accurate record for your travel memoirs.
On a guided tour you can ask questions and get an answer from a local that should know the places to see that are not on the tour.
Once done check in with the concierge again for transit information.
Remember to go down the side roads and take the stairs!