I was asked about this area in a PM and thought I would answer here in case the information was helpful to anyone else. The request was for places along the Manzanita to Newport section of the Oregon Coast but I suggested they start a bit north in Cannon Beach because I love that place. The goal was to find scenic vistas, a bit of beach-combing, easy walks, and tidepools. I thought I would post the main part of my response here in case the information is helpful to others.
They asked for help on fine dining experiences. Since I'm usually on a budget and eat out of my cooler for most meals, this isn't an area I can usually offer advise on. If anybody knows of anything special in this area, please post it here.
You might start about 15 miles north of Manzanita in Cannon Beach. This is a wonderful beach community with a nice beach. One of the things I have enjoyed there is watching the hang-gliders as they jump from the cliff above Cannon Beach and glide down to land on the beach.
Just south of Cannon Beach is Hug Point State Park. I think the wagon wheel ruts are pretty cool. I'm a bit of a history buff.
I've never actually stopped at Oswald West State Park, just north of Manzanita, but the description sounds very cool and like something that your mom would be able to handle maybe?
I've always enjoyed the drive along Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge. It's a birder's paradise and there are lots of beautiful scenic views easily seen from the road. Watch for signs to it in Tillamook. Cape Lookout is especially nice and worth a visit.
And, while in Tillamook, a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory is always fun. You can learn about cheese-making and get some great, fresh ice cream.
Heading south, you'll come to Boiler Bay State Park. I love watching the water churn here. It's powerful and quite awesome.
Depoe Bay is a little town not far north of Newport. I love this place. It bills itself as "The Littlest Harbor in the World" and it is a darling little harbor. It's always a nice place to get boat rides out to the ocean. Trips are short and inexpensive. I believe it's too late to have much chance of seeing whales though. Too bad. Walking along Depoe Bay's main street is fun. Lots of cute little shops and you can see the beach from there. I can spend all day in this charming town.
Newport is a nice town but a little bigger than I like. The aquarium there is first class and definitely worth seeing. It also has some touristy things that are kinda fun to go to like a Ripley's Believe it or Not, the Undersea Gardens, and other things like that. I'm a sucker for tacky tourist traps. If you're not, you may not want to bother.
A google search about Oregon Coast tidepools found me this list to find them. Hope that helps a bit.
I usually travel on a budget. Fine dining is not usually part of my road trips as I tend to eat most meals out of my cooler. Sorry I can't help you there. I'm sure any visitor guide you pick up will give you some ideas and, when I do decide to splurge on a good meal, I always ask several local people for their recommendation. If several mention the same restaurant, you usually have a winner.