The 2000 Steven Soderbergh film “Traffic” depicts the international drug trade in the United States through three storylines. The production shot in quite a few different places, including Cincinnati, Ohio, Washington, D.C., El Paso, Texas, San Diego, California, Mexico City, Mexico and more.
In the film, Robert Wakefield, played by Michael Douglas, a is a conservative Ohio judge appointed to head the National Drug Control Policy. However, Wakefield faces a losing battle with his own daughter’s addiction problems. The Wakefield home can be found in Cincinnati, Ohio.
LOCATION: 1242 Edwards Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45208
The Ayala house, where Carlos Ayala, played by Steven Bauer, lives with his wife Helena, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, can be found in La Jolla, California. While the house itself was not modified for the film, the production changed property to appear to have a false front yard and entrance gate to the right. In reality, the home faces directly toward the street and there is no gate.
LOCATION: 7757 Whitefield Pl, La Jolla, CA 92037
Here is a view closer to what is seen in the film, with the road depicted as the home’s front yard and gated driveway. A wall was added to cover the fact that it was part of the road. In one scene, Helena approaches two DEA agents parked in a van, Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luis Guzman), who are surveilling her home and offers them beverages.
Helena meets with Francisco Flores, played by Clifton Collins Jr., to arrange an assassination of a witness against her husband. The two meet inside the Botanical Building at Balboa Park in San Diego. At the time of our visit, the building was closed off for renovation, so we were unable to enter. The same building is briefly seen in “Citizen Kate.”
LOCATION: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Francisco Flores attempts to assassinate Eduardo Ruiz, played by Miguel Ferrer, in a parking lot next to some municipal buildings in Downtown San Diego. The parking lot is located along Front St between W B St and W A St.
LOCATION: Near Front St / W B St, San Diego, CA 92101
Here is a view through the fence of the parking lot.
Unbeknownst to Francisco Flores, he himself is the target of a second assassin from the window of this building, facing W A St and overlooking the parking lot.
LOCATION: 1300 Front St, San Diego, CA 92101 (facing W A St)