The locals won't be too jazzed about my saying this but...if you ever get a chance to check out South Shore Beach in Little Compton, you totally should. Heck yeah, it's rockier* than Gansett, but that's part of the charm. Beyond that, it's just so New England postcard pretty!
*Speaking of which, someone at the (NY) Times wrote a whole essay, love/hate letter a few years ago about the rocky beaches in LC, and growing up there. For the record, I also found out a little later that the adjacent area that's overrun with tons of rocks isn't techinically part of South Shore and is in fact a preserve. (Peaceful yes, but it does make for tough walking.)
My best tip for beaching it is to go after 2 or 3pm. It usually isn't as intensely hot or as crazy crowded. The peeps who live for the summer sun and sand, and who most likely made their way over hours earlier, are by that point probably packing up their cars and heading homeward. A perfect time to enjoy this gem to the fullest and take a nice mellow and meditative walk along the water!
If you're looking for a DD, Starbucks or any kind of fast food (Any traditional restaurants or coffee shops really!), you are outta luck in LC. What you will find are a several charming farm stands over on West Main Road where you can pick up in season veggies and fruits, plants and flowers, and maybe even a pie or two. Young Family Farm was also offering fresh, made to order pizza last summer. Bet it was yummy! Worth inquiring about this year.
Beach time + pizza? What could be better???