Well you don’t have to be a hiker, camper or fisherman to love this park. You can sit in your car and “get it” - especially in the Fall.
But I am going to assume you aren’t camping - aren’t a big hiker and don’t fish
I would not miss the Stony Man Trail on Stony Mountain at Mile 37.7 (everything in the SNP is measured by the milepost on skyline drive). At the Mountain overlook you can see what looks sort of like the side of a man’s face. The hike is easy - gravel trail not steep. At the very end there is some rocky ground - but if it is a clear day you will have one of those vistas that stays overlooking a beautiful scene of the town of Luray, a lake and Little Stony Man Cliff. [You will be standing on “Stony Man’s” forehead at this point].
You’ll also be able to hook your thumbs under your suspenders at a dinner party that you walked "the Appalachian Trail a bit"NPS link
To me Dark Hollows Trail is cool but I hesitate on it - PRO you get to see cool Waterfalls without disappearing way into the bush it is a reasonably short walk, less than a mile. CON the NPS kind of sandbags the difficulty in my opinion. If you are a healthy adult under 50 it won’t be too hard, but older folks, extremely out of shape adults, kids, handicapped people could have an unpleasant experience – they’d make it, no one is going to die, but getting to it could possibly not be worth it to them
I wouldn’t miss Luray Caverns outside the park - I would make everyone go once - it is the sort of place where you say I’m glad I went but I would never go again.
You can Camp inside the park at a bunch of sites or at two barebones lodges: Skyland or Big Meadows Lodge. Big Meadows also has some small cabins for rent. Never been. But except for my next sentence this is the only “Lodging” per se inside the park. There are cabins at Lewis Mountain. Stayed there – cheap and good* offseason. *good if you think “I am renting a cabin in the Mountains so this will not be the Four Seasons DC” your expectations are met. There is al ot of stuff- ads look like quality stuff really close by outside the park – the area is built for “the season”
… and this is in season - or for all intents and purposes it is as it it starts Friday. I am concerned about you getting a reasonable rate and cool place to stay nearby if you don’t have reservations. Not saying “Can’t be done” but am saying “I’d get crackin’”