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help with 3 day Oregon coast/gorge trip in August

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My sister and I have 3 full days in Oregon starting Aug 4 thru Aug 7.
She is recovering from an illness but loves the water and outdoors, so small walks are possible but hiking is not. She loved the ferry ride when I took her to SF. I was thinking of 2 days driving the Oregon Coast and 1 day on the Columbia River Gorge. I need a reasonable hotel in downtown Portland on our arrival and departure. Any suggestions? I was getting nervous reading about how difficult it is to find a place to stay on the coast at the last minute. Do I need to make reservations in advance? I was hoping to just find a place whenever we felt like stopping. Any "must see" or "must do" items. I was thinking about a river cruise down the gorge. I am open to any suggestions.

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