Just_right- I've got a few pieces of advice for you. First off, you have some FANTASTIC rabbit hunting within 45 minutes of your doorstep, but YOU need to get out your map and start scouting for yourself. As hunters, we are very reluctant to just give out our good hunting spots on an online forum. Just think of scouting as hiking... with a gun!
Almost all of the accessible rabbit areas near you are "shotgun only" hunting ares, so I HIGHLY recommend you spend $150 and invest in a nice little 20 or 12 gauge single-shot shotgun. If you get caught hunting with a .22 in a shotgun only area in San Bernardino county, it's a big-azz fine! Also, it's a hell-of-a-lot easier to take down a rabbit with a shotgun as opposed to a .22. Shotguns also open you up to rabbit-on-the run shots, rather than having to wait for them to stop like you do with a .22. Both H&R (if you like a wood stock gun) and Rossi (if you want to go the synthetic stock route) make very nice little durable and light single-shot shotguns for the type of hike/hunt method of taking rabbits that huntandski mentioned above. Keep an eye on the weekly Big 5 adds and you'll see both of these guns go on sale for $99-$119. I own a Rossi in .20 gauge, and an H&R in .12 and .410. All three are fantastic rabbit guns. As a new hunter, I'd avoid the .410 because the ammo generally cost more the double than that of a 12 or 20 gauge.
Good luck, and good huntin'!
You are the weapon, your firearm is just a tool. It's a shame so many get the two mixed up.