Hanalei Bay with Bali Hai in the background on Kauai's dramatic north shore
If I was visiting just one Hawaiian island, Kauai would be the place.
Kauai encapsulates all that is wonderful about Hawaii into a small manageable island. There's just one main road here, and it doesn't even traverse the entire island.
Kauai is draped with emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs. Much of the island is only accessible by sea or air, revealing scenery that's beyond your imagination. If you only take one helicopter ride in your life, do it on Kauai.
Many travelers choose to split their stay between the verdant tropical environs of northern Kauai with the sunny shores of Po'ipu to the south. Ten days would be an optimal stay.